A new blood test using some highly advanced techniques may help doctors spot breast cancer years before they even show up.
Scientists from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark say they’ve developed a blood test that will allow doctors to predict breast cancer, allowing sufferers to get treatment sooner and help those at risk figure out how to lower their odds of developing it, according to a WebMD report.
The research team studied 57,053 men and women that were tracked by the Danish Cancer Society for 20 years, using two-decade-old blood samples from 400 women who had been diagnosed with breasts cancer two to seven years after giving their first blood sample, and compared them with a group of women who never got breast cancer.
They then created a profile for each person to check for chemical changes that can happen before the arrival of breast cancer.
They found that their new blood test can help predict breast cancer two to five years before its onset with 80 percent accuracy. By comparison, a mammogram is 75 percent accurate, and that technique is used to spot cancer that is already there.
The blood test is not ready quite yet for use by doctors, as more trials will be needed to further refine the technique. However, the blood test shows tremendous potential for early detection of breast cancer, which is crucial as it will greatly help scientists treat the disease.
It won’t replace other forms of screening. Not everyone who tests positive on the blood test will get cancer, and some who don’t will cancer. As a result, it is important for patients to talk with their doctors if they are concerned they’re at risk. The doctor may recommend extra screening like mammograms, which is still the best tool available for detecting cancer.
The findings were published in the journal Metabolomics.