March 20, 2023

Clothing, food, beauty products, your wallet is full of loyalty cards of all kinds. If they can save you a few euros, they would have a whole other power. Researchers have found that they could help detect some cases of cancer earlier.

Indeed, by observing purchasing habits, it would be possible to identify certain behaviors that could evoke the presence of cancer. Precisely, within the framework of this study, the scientists noted that the analysis of the drugs bought over the counter could have its importance. Women with ovarian cancer would have higher costs of analgesics. This change in buying habits was detected eight months before the diagnosis.

To reach this conclusion, the purchases made by 283 women over six years were analyzed. Participants completed questionnaires on risk factors, symptoms and number of GP visits made in the year prior to referral or diagnosis of cancer. A total of 153 women received a diagnosis of ovarian cancerwhile the others had none.

“This study suggests that long before women have recognized their symptoms as alarming enough to go to the GP, they can treat them at home. We hope this research will lead to early detection of ovarian cancer symptoms and improve patients’ treatment options,” said lead author Dr. James Flanagan of Imperial College London, UK.

A long asymptomatic disease

Ovarian carcinoma is the 8th leading cause of cancer in women in France with approximately 5,200 new cases per year. Ovarian cancer develops from the different cells that compose it, it can be of two types: ovarian adenocarcinoma when the tumor affects the cells of the external surface or it can be ” non-epithelial tumors of the ovary (10% of cases), which are rare malignant ovarian tumors (TMRO)”, underlines the Gustave Roussy Institute.

What are the warning signs? “Ovarian cancer can be asymptomatic for a long time. (…) Nevertheless, certain symptoms can be revealing such as a feeling of abdominal discomfort, an increase in the volume of the abdomen, urinary disorders or pelvic or back pain “, warns the Institute.

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