Fact Check: Blood tests that detect cancer

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Cancer impacts so many of us. Researchers continue to try to find a cure. What if we told you there’s a simple blood test that can detect 50 types of cancer before you have any symptoms? Could that be true?

"It’s just a simple blood test," Dr. Farhan Imran said. "These tests and other innovations that are being done in oncology would definitely be the end of cancer as we know it."

We’re talking groundbreaking early detection cancer tests. The Galleri test by healthcare company GRAIL has been approved by the New York State Department of Health. It’s a first-of-its-kind test that can detect more than 50 types of cancer.

"Almost all types of cancers can be detected early based on these tests," explained Dr. Imran, a Hematology And Medical Oncology specialist with Rochester Regional Health. "You go to the doctor. They just draw some blood, and then they analyze it,"

The company claims when a cancer signal is detected the Galleri test can determine where in the body the cancer is located.

Sounds amazing, right? Here’s the bad news.

"They’re not ready for mainstream as of yet," Dr. Imran said. "But they are upcoming."

That’s because more large-scale clinical trials need to be done. The Galleri test is not approved yet by the FDA, and if you want one it will cost you up to $1,000. The tests are often not covered by insurance, but Dr. Imran says these tests are very promising.

"Within our lifetimes, we hope to see a chemotherapy-free world for oncology," Dr. Imran said. "So this is the thing of the future."