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Can a New Blood Test Predict Breast Cancer Risk?

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Wouldn’t it be nice if your doctor could just order some simple blood tests to find out whether or not you were at risk for developing breast cancer? Those mammograms, biopsies, and other invasive procedures may be obsolete in the near future, and more and more physicians are starting use a new blood test that can predict breast cancer risk. As with everything, there are some ups and downs to the whole deal. Your best bet is to know as much as you can about it before you make your final decision.

What Is This New Blood Test?

Your doctor can actually take a sample of your blood and test certain abnormal proteins or circulating tumor cells. These indicators are then used to detect the presence of a cancer risk, through the observation of blood and platelet characteristics. This blood cell exam can actually help doctors and phlebotomists to diagnose a person with a serious problem long before it is too late. Commonly known in the medical field as blood marker tests, they are now being used for early detection, as a means to predict breast cancer risk.

What Are the Indicators?

In order for your doctor to determine whether or not you are at risk for breast cancer by conducting these simple blood tests, he or she must first determine if you have certain indicators in your blood. This knowledge is what helps your doctor to track any tumors in the body. These indicators, or “markers,” generally include:

 

  • CEA
  • CA125
  • CA 15.3
  • CA 27.29
  • TRU-QUANT

Although every doctor has his or her own preferences as far as technique, most use the CellSearch test because it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Ask your doctor what options you have. If you are already getting treatment for breast cancer, see if the new tests that predict breast cancer risk can help you find out about any latent issues you may have.

What Should I Know about the Test?

It is important to note that these new blood tests are not 100-percent conclusive. At the end of the day, you may need to take other tests. Keep in mind that, at least for now, the new blood test to predict breast cancer risk is rather expensive, especially without adequate insurance. Be sure you complete all required testing before allowing yourself to worry about your health.


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