A Tattoo That Detects Cancer
Posted on 2018-05-22 by Sean Williamson
Prevention is always better than cure, and there is no substitute for an early warning system. Whilst this may sound like the kind of lingo one would encounter in the home security and automation industry, its also the type of talk you will come across when talking general health issues, as well as the prevention of certain illnesses.
A lot of advice is constantly given relating to the best possible foods to eat, exercise regimes to follow, supplements to take, all relative to one common goal: avoiding cancer. We are constantly being fed the fact that early detection is the key to surviving this dread disease. However, there isn’t always the time or the money to go for regular check-ups at a GP.
And soon, it may not be necessary at all anymore.
Behold The Smart Tattoo
Scientists are in the process of developing what is being referred to as a smart or biomedical tattoo. Despite the fact that the technology is still in its developmental phase, it is already showing great promise. The premise is a simple one: the tattoo is placed on the bottom side of the forearm, where the skin is generally lighter than over the rest of the body. The tattoo is placed here due to the fact that it will become immediately visible in the event that it becomes activated.
By now you have probably figured out that the tattoo is invisible when first placed on the body. Even more interesting is the fact that the tattoo is made from the cells of the patient’s own body. A small number of skin cells are removed under local anaesthetic. Next, the cells are genetically modified to react to any increased levels of calcium much in the same manner that the skin reacts to being tanned by the sun, before they are re-inserted into the patch on the skin from where they were taken.
Scientists have long understood the correlation between spiked levels of calcium and the presence of a cancerous tumour. For as long as there are no sudden changes in calcium levels in the body, the high-tech tattoo will remain invisible. However, if this were to change, the surface of the tattoo will turn a dark brown colour, thereby indicating that cancer may be present in the body. This could happen at any time, whether a person is enjoying a sporting activity, playing mobile casino games or even asleep. The minute the tattoo is spotted, it is indicative that a doctor’s appointment is necessary.
Calcium And The Body
Calcium occurs naturally in the body, and in large volumes. It’s a mineral and all cells need Calcium in order to function effectively. It aids everything from the formation of strong bones to keeping the central nervous system healthy and happy. A group of four glands that are situated in the neck, known as the parathyroid glands, run a tight ship as far as the release of calcium is concerned.
Identifying the fact that there may be excess calcium present in a person’s body can be a difficult task as the symptoms often mask as something entirely different. Symptoms can also be completely non-descript and may range from a sensation of general weakness to constipation and an unusual lack of appetite.
However, the new smart tattoo will turn dark brown the instant that elevated levels of calcium are detected, making for a much more sure-fire way towards early detection of all kinds of cancers, including kidney, breast and prostate cancers.
Health For All
The smart tattoo is being developed and tested by scientists at the University of ETH Zurich, and its developers are hoping that the tattoo will soon receive approval to be given to anyone who wishes to monitor their own health in the fight against cancer. It’s a wonderful new development and it shows just how the quest to beat the big C is on going.