An estimated 176 million women are impacted by Endometriosis worldwide, according to Endometriosis Australia. This works out at around 1 in 10 women.
However, despite how common the disease is, there is still a delay of between seven and 10 years before patients are diagnosed correctly. This is partially due to a lack of knowledge surrounding endometriosis, leading women to normalise the symptoms such a fatigue, pain and irregular or heavy bleeding.
It is also partially down to the current way endometriosis is diagnosed, which is to undergo a surgical laparoscopy and have a biopsy (tissue sample) taken. While a diagnosis can be made without surgery, the only way doctors can currently be 100 per cent certain is via a laparoscopy.
A world first blood test to diagnose endometriosis
This is where the world’s first blood test to diagnose endometriosis would come in.
A British company called MDNA Life Sciences has announced that within the next year they are hoping to launch a blood test which claims to be able to detect 90 per cent of endometriosis cases.
The blood test, if it works, would revolutionise the diagnosis process of endometriosis, hopefully significantly shortening the time it takes for women to get a diagnosis and simplifying the process by no longer requiring surgery.
While this may be welcome news for many, experts on the disease remain cautious and, in some cases, unconvinced as to the blood test’s accuracy.
“Caution should be heeded,” endometriosis.org wrote on their website, regarding the news of the new blood test. “We need to see robust validation evidence in an independent set of samples before we can jump to any conclusions regarding the results and the promise of any diagnostic test.”
“Only then will we know whether the Mitomic Endometriosis Test is a true and accurate blood test available to diagnose endometriosis in all populations.”
The test will first become available privately in the UK, and will cost the equivalent of around $460.