Detecting breast cancer through mammogram is so far considered as a safe test to detect breast cancer. Mammography is a low-dose x-ray imaging of breasts to find out breast cancer. Mammograms enable the doctor to have a closer look for breast lumps and changes in breast tissue and show small lumps if any that may not be found during a routine clinical breast check-up. Mammography is so far considered the best screening tool to detect breast cancer. But this may change if the research to detect breast cancer through blood test becomes a reality.
A team of scientists in McGill University in Canada are one step closer to developing a blood test that accurately detects breast cancer at very early stages. This may be a breakthrough and this new development they say could make mammography screening obsolete. The team has also mentioned that they have made improvements to the existing technology while discovering a biomarker “signature” for a common subtype of breast cancer – which is estrogen receptor-positive. The findings are from sampling the blood of a group of healthy people and breast cancer patients. And the samples were measured for the concentration of 32 proteins in the blood samples. Using the latest in microarray technology the team found that out of the 32 proteins, six could be used to establish a signature for the hormone receptor-positive cancer.
David Juncker, leading the study, said, “Mammography is slow and expensive, and it’s is uncomfortable. So, here the idea is you could do a test in a droplet of blood, and it could be more accurate than a mammograph.” “From this small study we cannot really make the claim, but the hope is that this could become more accurate,” Juncker said. Mammography does not work well for women with dense breasts and thus many young and African American women are actually not well served by the screening.” So this test could be complementary and more sensitive,” Juncker said.
Detecting breast cancer through blood test becomes a reality; it may become the best and easily affordable test to detect breast cancer and tests to detect breast cancer may not be uncomfortable to the persons undergoing the test which is so in mammography to detect breast cancer.
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