DNA vending machine could tell you if you’re more apt to develop cancer

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PORTLAND, Oregon (KGW) Some special vending machines are starting to pop up in parts of Oregon.

These are not your typical vending machines. You won’t find chips, crackers or sodas in them. It’s part of the “Healthy Oregon Project” that started just a few months ago.

“For us, we didn’t want to do all the mailing, so instead we decided, let’s put it in a vending machine,” said professor Jackilen Shannon from the Oregon Health and Science University.

The unique tool will let researchers learn how behaviors, lifestyle and genetics play a part in a person’s risk for cancer.

“Really what that’s telling you is, do you have a particular genetic mutation that may put you at a higher risk of cancer than the rest of the population,” said Shannon.

Taking the test is pretty simple — they’re free for starters. Walk up to the machine, push the code for the kit and it drops down.

Set a timer for 60 seconds — swish the mouthwash and spit. Download the app – – scan the barcode on the vial and you’re done.

Return it to the machine and let OHSU researchers do the rest.

“For researchers, it gives us information from our population that help us begin to answer questions about why there might be higher risk of particular risk of diseases within one group of the population, versus a different group.”

But if you’re not a high risk for cancer — maybe you don’t have family history — OHSU says take the test anyway..

“It’s actually really important that they participate, because if only the people with the highest risk are the ones we have information from, we don’t understand how that compares to people that don’t have a high risk of disease,” said Shannon.

A small box containing answers to your own health and at the same time giving researchers a chance to learn from you.

It takes about 4 months to get the results back — if it’s negative, you get an e-mail.

If it’s positive they will call you and talk with you about your next best options.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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