What if you could detect the beginnings of breast cancer years before it showed up on a mammogram? That’s what a new screening test is doing. The noninvasive test has the potential to cut breast cancer rates, just like pap smears have cut rates of cervical cancer.
Daily exercise is a must for Susan Burkett. “It just gets rid of all the stress in my life,” Burkett told Ivanhoe.
A top stressor for her is breast cancer. Burkett’s breast density increases her risk and makes it harder for mammograms to spot potentially dangerous growths.
“You can have a mammogram that’s negative for nothing suspicious and by the time you go back for your next one there could be something there,” Burkett said.
Debra Dube, MD, Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine Connection, says a new test known as ForeCYTE could help Burkett and millions like her.
“It’s absolutely huge. To me, this is a new frontier,” Dr. Dube told Ivanhoe.
Much like a pap smear, the test detects pre-cancerous cells up to eight years before cancer arises. “Enabling us to treat much earlier, at the very beginning of a tumor formation,” Dr. Dube said.
Unlike a mammogram, the test is virtually painless. Dr. Dube uses a device similar to a breast pump to collect cells that line the milk ducts, and the cells are then sent to a lab for analysis. The results help women like Burkett make an informed decision about her future.
“I think it’s more than anything peace of mind,” Burkett explained.
Dr. Dube says women over 40 should take the test every year and get an annual mammogram. Women between 18 and 39 can also take the ForeCYTE test and the screening is covered by Medicare and private insurance.
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer can be invasive or noninvasive. It tends to be sensitive to the hormone estrogen. This means that estrogen causes the breast cancer tumor to grow. (SOURCE: http://health.nytimes.com)
SYMPTOMS: Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:
· A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
· Bloody discharge from the nipple
· Change in the size or shape of a breast
· Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
· Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange
TREATMENT: The ForeCYTE Breast Health Test is a non-invasive biopsy for the early detection of pre-cancerous cells in the breast. The MASCT system, a modified breast pump, is used to collect nipple aspirate fluid from both breasts. The ForeCYTE Breast Health Test provides cellular-based risk assessment information about your personal breast health. Nipple aspirate fluid cytology in women ages 18-73 has been clinically proven to identify women who are at risk of getting breast cancer in the future, giving you and your healthcare provider valuable information and time to intervene in the process of this disease. (SOURCE: http://myforecyte.com/)
Debra Dube, MD, practices Internal Medicine at the Internal Medicine Connection, in Longwood, Florida. She talks about a new test for breast cancer.