Blood test for bowel cancer a step closer

Australian experts are a step closer to discovering a blood test for bowel cancer, according to research presented at a conference in the US.

The researchers say they have discovered a pattern of telltale gene mutations which can reliably detect cancers earlier and more conveniently than conventional screening methods.

The test had a false-positive rate of just 5% when applied to samples from a high-risk population, said the researchers, whose work was presented Sunday at Digestive Diseases Week in San Diego.