A blood test could be given to all women to provide an efficient early screening.
A new study, published in the journal Metallomics, evaluates a potential blood test for early detection of breast cancer. Researchers note that breast cancer tumors were found to have a certain composition of zinc isotopes, which could be detected in the blood. If made into a diagnostic test, this may greatly increase early detection of breast cancer, which would translate to higher survival rates.
According to the Daily Mail, there is already an 80 percent chance of survival after a breast cancer diagnosis. However, early detection may mean the difference between life and death. Currently, physical exams, mammograms, and x-rays are used to detect breast cancer. These are given to different portions of the female population, but a blood test could be given to all women to provide an efficient early screening.
In addition to zinc, there are other trace metals in the blood. Scientists believe that some of these may be correlated to other types of cancer. Further research needs to be done to determine the relationships between these trace metals and other cancers. If such relationships are found, more blood tests for early cancer detection may be forthcoming.
WebMD reports that the first sign of breast cancer is usually a breast lump or an abnormal mammogram. Breast cancer stages range from early, curable breast cancer to metastatic breast cancer. Other signs of breast cancer include a change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast, a change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple, redness of the breast or nipple, and blood-stained or clear fluid discharge from the nipple. Breast cancer does not only appear in women. Male breast cancer is a real, but often overlooked, threat.