Blood test to detect early breast cancer
Mammogram detects breast cancer before symptoms appear. It would be nice if a blood test would detect breast cancer before the mammogram can detect the tumor or before much of tumor mass develop. It may be possible in future to detect breast cancer at a very early stage with a blood test that is being developed. If this test becomes successful it may transform the whole treatment of breast cancer by detecting it earlier at a stage when the cancer can be removed in your GP's office, rather than doing a bigger surgical procedure later.
This test is based on measurement of some genetic markers, which may suggest that cancer has already started to develop. At this early stage it may not be visible on mammogram or MRI. As per an article published in the journal Breast Cancer Research this technique would have a detection success rate of 82 percent in women who is developing breast cancer. This rate of detection is comparable to mammograms, which the current standard of detecting early breast cancer but this test would detect the breast cancer at stage much earlier than mammogram can detect. Scientists are identifying such genes, a total of 37 such genes have been identified. It may take several years before such a blood test becomes commercially available.
It is estimated that in the year 2005, a total of 211,240 women would be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Breast cancer is the second as the leading cause of cancer deaths in American women. If skin cancer is excluded, breast cancer is the commonest cancer among American women. As per the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed every year around the world.