Day 175: Jack Andraka- a promising test for pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States and the eight worldwide. Most case are too advanced by the time they’re discovered, as diagnosis takes place using a test that costs hundreds of dollars and is commonly only administered when the treating doctor feels it is beyond reasonable doubt that the patient has the disease.
15 year old Jack Andraka, winner of the 2012 Intel Science Fair grand prize, wants to change this. Motivated by the death of his uncle, he searched the Internet for common pancreatic cancer markers in the body. His research led him to Johns Hopkins, where he has invented what could become a viable dipstick test for mesothelin, a protein found at high levels in pancreatic cancer. Best of all, it would cost just three cents a strip.
Andraka is an excellent speaker and an inspirational young man. Reading the comments underneath the TED talk shows that his work has somewhat polarised people. Most agree that he is amazing. However it is important to realise that this is only the first step in a long process to accurately diagnose pancreatic cancer.


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