[MOL] Tears May Signal Cancer, Scientists Find [00636] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Tears May Signal Cancer, Scientists Find

Thought this was intriguing...love, Joicy

Tears May Signal Cancer, Scientists Find
    [08/07/2000; Reuters News Service]

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Tears may indicate if people have, or are
likely to develop, certain types of cancer, according to a finding
stumbled upon by chance by a team of Australian scientists. Scientists
at the Cooperative Research Centre for Eye Research and Technology
based at the University of New South Wales in Sydney found tears
of patients with certain forms of cancer, or a family history
of cancer, contain a marker protein. The protein, termed Lg, is
found in breast and prostate cancer where a hormone is involved
in causing or maintaining the cancer. Mark Willcox, director of
the biological sciences at the centre, said the discovery was
made by scientists developing a new permanent-wear contact lens
who were investigating why some people produce more tears than
others. ``It was found that people whose tears contained this
marker had a history of that cancer in their family,'' Willcox
told Reuters. ``The possibilities are that people who have Lg
in their tears are genetically disposed to those cancers, or
that when they have or are developing those cancers, the protein
increases in their tears. ''Tears are a filtrate of the blood
which pass through the lacrimal gland underneath the eyelid before
entering the eye.

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