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Prenatal Blood Tests Can Detect Cancer In Pregnant Women, Study Finds

A recent study shows that blood tests used on pregnant women could detect cancer in the expectant mothers. Prenatal tests are typically used to examine the blood of pregnant women to detect genetic abnormalities in the fetus.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, indicates that researchers have discovered that results that would typically indicate an abnormality in the fetus could actually be previously undetected cancer in the mother.

This unexpected finding came about during a study of eight women who had abnormal results from their prenatal tests, but whose babies were normal, reports The Wall Street Journal. When researchers reanalyzed the DNA of the moms, the anomalies were linked to cancer in all eight of the women.

The ability to analyze the DNA from both the mother and her unborn baby with one test can lead to surprising results, as the study shows. “When the test first came out we didn’t think about cancer being a possibility,” said Diana Bianchi, executive director of the Mother Infant Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and lead author of the study.

When the test first came out we didn’t think about cancer being a possibility. I’ve been working in this field for 25 years, and it’s something that we never expected to find.

Jenny Berstein, one of the study’s participants, was initially “freaked out” by the results of her paternity test, reports BioSpace. “I was freaking out. I didn’t know what was going on,” said the 40-year-old San Francisco native.

They said babies with the chromosomal issues they found in my sample typically don’t survive. I was freaking out. I didn’t know what was going on.

After further testing, it was learned that Berstein’s baby was fine, and the source of the abnormal results – revealed two months later – were linked to breathing problems and shoulder pain in the mother who was admitted to the emergency room for her symptoms.

Roberto Romero, a perinatology researcher at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, said there will need to be further studies on the new findings.  With the increased popularity of the prenatal testing, there is also an increased need “to provide informed advice to potentially affected pregnant woman.”

In other news concerning blood tests on Immortal News, a recent study revealed a new experimental blood test that can detect every virus a person has even been exposed to, with one single drop of blood. The test, called VirScan, is available for around $25.

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