Mercy Hospital in OKC offers new blood test to screen for cancer

The exterior of Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City, pictured in this 2014 file photo.

Mercy Hospitals now offers a new blood test that can detect markers for more than 50 types of cancer – including several that are otherwise impossible to screen – to catch the disease early.

Nancy Dixon knew as soon as she heard about the test that she wanted to sign up.

Dixon, who works in media relations at Mercy and is based in Oklahoma City, lost her father to pancreatic cancer when she was 16. He was only 51 years old.

“I’m older than he was when he died,” she said. “So that’s always been on my mind.”

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect early. It is not one of the types of cancers people are routinely screened for, and it is usually diagnosed at stage IV, which can leave patients with few treatment options.

Oklahoma City-based Mercy employee Nancy Dixon has blood drawn for a new screening that can pick up signals for more than 50 types of cancer.  Dixon, who lost his father to pancreatic cancer, was one of the first patients scheduled for the test.

The new blood test, called Galleri, is a multi-cancer early detection test developed by healthcare company GRAIL. Although Galleri is not fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA gave it a “Breakthrough Device” designation in 2019, allowing GRAIL’s blood test to be offered to the public while more data is available. collected.

The test is intended to supplement – not replace – regular cancer screenings, such as breast, colon, cervix, lung and prostate.

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