(NaturalNews) Ah ... ladies ... can you imagine the freedom of life without mammograms? That yearly dread - the compression, the anxiety, the direct radiation to delicate tissue - may all be a thing of the past.
A new blood test is in development that may prove to be even more effective than mammograms. Mammograms give false negatives 10% of the time, false positives 20% of the time. In addition to false positives, there is increasing concern regarding possible harm from mammograms.
In a study involving 5,685 women, published in the July 15, 2000 issue of the International Journal of Cancer, the association between diagnostic radiation exposure and breast cancer was examined. The results of this study conclude that some forms of low-dose radiation may increase the risk of breast cancer. The study also found that women who underwent diagnostic chest x-rays for pneumonia or tuberculosis had more than twice the normal risk of breast cancer.
An article published in the January 28, 2009 Journal of the American Cancer Institute goes so far as to say that early mammograms may actually harm women who carry the BRCA gene.
"The risk of radiation-induced breast cancer may outweigh the benefits of mammography in women under the age of 30 who carry a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2, according to a mathematical modeling study."
Dr. Russell L. Blaylock estimates that annual mammograms increase the risk of breast cancer by two percent a year. So over 10 years the risk will have increased 20 percent.
An authority on the negative health effects from ionizing radiation, Dr. John W. Gofman estimates that 75% of breast cancer cases can be prevented my limiting or avoiding exposure to such radiation procedures such as mammography and x-rays.
The debate over whether mammograms save lives rages on. If you or someone you know had a lump discovered and subsequently removed after discovery by a mammogram, no doubt, you know there is value in screening. That is the beauty of this new blood test. Women can continue to be screened, without the risk of added radiation.
This new blood test, called the BC-SeraPro, measures the concentration of certain proteins in the blood that indicate breast cancer. These proteins, "blood markers," can indicate whether or not a system is functioning properly. This test may offer the opportunity to treat breast cancer at its earliest stage. Researchers are hoping that this test will catch breast cancer even before it shows up on a mammogram.
"This is a test for measuring the concentration of proteins in the blood and how they differ from the normal state will tell is about the presence of disease," says Ira Goldknopf, Ph.D., director of proteomics at Power3 Medical in the Woodlands, Texas. Dr. Goldknopf further states: "The method analyzes specific proteins and these proteins show what is going on with the patient in terms of the disease and how the disease is playing out on the patient."
The BC-SeraPro has a 90% success rate. The test should be available in breast cancer clinics early next year.
Provista Life Sciences is already offering a blood screening called the BT Test, or Biomarker Translation Test. The BT test screens for multiple cancer-related proteins. Will Gartner, President and CEO of Provista Life Sciences states: "With an accuracy rate above 80 percent, the BT Test gives women and their doctors another crucial measure for early breast cancer detection. We are thrilled to be able to offer more women the opportunity to catch the disease in its treatable phase, when life-saving treatment is most effective."
Currently, the BT Test is prescribed by doctors to be used in conjunction with annual mammograms. The BT test is strongly recommended for women at heightened risk for breast cancer, along with women with dense breast tissue.
In a previous study reported in the August 4, 2006 issue of the ACS` Journal of Proteome Research, 250 breast cancer patients and 95 patients without breast cancer were administered a blood test measuring the presence of breast cancer. The results of test had demonstrated that they could recognize the presence of breast cancer in the blood about 95 percent of the time. The researchers state:
"Better blood-based testing may aid in early diagnosis, may reduce the need for open biopsy and could provide new modalities for monitoring of therapy."
American Chemical Society (2006, August 29). Toward An Ultra-sensitive Blood Test For Breast Cancer.
Cindie Leonard has a Master's degree in Psychology and specializes in research (namely psychoneuroimmunology), enjoys savoring time with family and friends, spoiling her pets, travel, beaches, cavorting around San Diego, volunteering at Torrey Pines State Reserve, and working on perfecting the art of "il dolce far niente." http://www.cindieleonard.com