Pancreatic cancer is deadly. Only 5.5% of those diagnosed with the disease survive past five years. And that’s because it is very hard to detect. By the time doctors find it, it generally has already spread throughout the body. But what if there was a pancreatic cancer test that could detect the disease early?
Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer death largely because there are no detection tools to diagnose the disease in its early stages when surgical removal of the tumor is still possible. (source)
But this is all about to change thanks to Jack Andraka, a 15-year old teenager from Crownsville, Maryland, who invented a new method capable of detecting this lethal cancer in its earliest stages.
His novel patent-pending sensor is said to be 168 times faster, 26,000 times less expensive, and 400 times more sensitive than current testing methods. (said in his Tedx video at 0:50)
Just to give you an idea, current popular testing methods are 60 years old, inaccurate (misses 30% of all pancreatic cancers) and expensive ($800). (said in his Tedx video at 1:55)
On the other hand, Jack’s test would only cost 3 cents and take 5 minutes to run with a 100 % accuracy.
The discovery made by this young boy will undoubtedly change the future of the cancer industry.
Detecting pancreatic cancer early: Q&A with 15-year-old Jack Andraka