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LONDON: A wonderful gift to the women of the world could soon be unveiled with researchers envisaging a technology to detect breast cancer as easily as a home pregnancy test.
Researcher Dr Charles Streckfus (CORR) said it could prove invaluable in picking up the disease in its earliest stages, when it is easiest to treat. Used during routine dental check-ups, it could spot cases of the disease which could otherwise go unnoticed until too late.
“This could be something women could use in between mammograms and if something looks suspicious, they could jump on it,” Dr Streckfus said, adding “If you had this particular test side by side with mammography, it will take the worry out for women.”
By analysing the saliva of 30 women, a third of whom had breast cancer, the researchers from University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston identified 49 proteins whose levels change depending on a women’s breast health.
The patterns of protein levels make it possible to distinguish between healthy women and those with breast tumours. Benign and malignant tumours can also be separated, the journal Cancer Investigation reports.
The test, which is around five years away from the market, would use antibodies to detect the proteins, and provide a near-instant result, cutting out the need for time-consuming lab work.
“As well as accepting invitations to regular breast screening, it is vital that women of any age are breast aware throughout their life, by being familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel so that any changes can be picked up quickly and reported to their doctor without delay,” Antonia Dean of the Breast Cancer Care was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail of Britain.
Sources: The Times Of India