Opinion: Blood tests for cancer detection aren’t yet ready for prime time

Multi-cancer early detection tests (MCEDs), sometimes called liquid biopsy tests, are a new method of detecting cancer early. While the concept is promising, these untested tests currently pose significant problems.

MCEDs look for circulating DNA or cells from cancers. The goal is to detect cancer in its earliest stages in people without any signs or symptoms of the disease. Earlier detection means earlier treatment, which generally leads to better outcomes, so this approach may be an attractive option to reduce cancer-related death.

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