Saturday, April 18, 2015

Breast Cancer Blood Test

A new blood test has been developed which tells which women will develop breast cancer in the next 2-5 years with an 80% accuracy rate. The point is that mammograms show when breast cancer has already occurred so this would be a way of telling before it happened.  And to quote:

"...the method could create a paradigm shift in early diagnosis of breast cancer as well as other diseases."

That's all great and stuff but I have some questions.
  • If you are told you will develop breast cancer in the next two to five years, what do you do? Get a mammogram every month until it shows up? Or start chemo ahead of time? I'm not sure.
  • What about the 20% inaccuracy? It won't work for one in five women so there is no benefit
  • And all of us who were told we were too young or had no family history or risk factors? And then got breast cancer anyway?
So this is progress but I have concerns. I would like to see the blood test refined and have it be more accurate. That's easy for me to say. I guess I think this is a step in the right direction but will only help 80% of people. And I feel that all of us who were exceptions will still be exceptions.

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