Scientists unveiled a new test that can detect cancer ten years before any symptoms appear at the British Science Festival in Swansea.
The test detects mutations in proteins on the surface of red blood cells.
In healthy people, the number of mutations of this type averages about five per million, but in cancer patients there can be 50 to 100 mutants per million.
These mutations do not have a role in the development of cancer, with the researchers describing the effect as “collateral damage” caused by the disease.
Discovering cancer early is a key factor in successful treatment.