Selfies could be used to diagnose cancer

A new app claims to be able to diagnose pancreatic cancer with a simple selfie [Photo: Pexels]

Selfies appear to have only one purpose: to fuel our egotistical desire for likes, likes and more likes.

But scientists have found a much better use for the front camera.

Researchers at the University of Washington claim to have created an app that can diagnose pancreatic cancer from just one selfie.

How does this miraculous piece of technology work? It’s simple.

Biliscreen (the name of the app) analyses the amount of yellow discolouration in the whites of your eyes.

The discolouration – otherwise known as jaundice – is usually found in young children but can also be a sign of pancreatic cancer.

The app can supposedly detect signs of jaundice before they’re visible to the naked eye, removing the need for doctors in cancer diagnosis.

Pancreatic cancer has a small survival rate due to late diagnosis [Photo: University of Washington]

In a trial of 70 people, Biliscreen correctly identified ‘cases of concern’ almost 90% of the time.

This is a landmark move in the world of medicine as pancreatic cancer currently has a five-year survival rate of just 9%. This is due to it going undetected in a lot of cases.

“The problem with pancreatic cancer is that by the time you’re symptomatic, it’s frequently too late,” said Alex Mariakakis, lead author of the study.

“The hope is that if people can do this simple test once a month — in the privacy of their own homes — some might catch the disease early enough to undergo treatment that could save their lives.”

Who knew that selfies could end up being so important?

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