According to scientists at the University of Nottingham in the UK, a new blood test can detect breast cancer five years before symptoms develop. British researchers are developing a test that identifies the body’s immune system response to substances produced by tumors. For breast cancer survivors like me whose oncologists don’t put much trust in mammograms since I have dense breasts, this is a welcomed invention of modern medicine. If a blood test like this can detect breast cancer earlier for those with dense breasts, people like me will sleep better at night.
The researchers at the University of Nottingham have found that these tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) are good indicators of cancer. Did you know that cancer cells produce antigens (proteins) that trigger the body to make antigens against them? In a pilot study, the medical school at Nottingham took blood samples from 90 breast cancer patients at the time of their diagnosis and matched them with blood samples from 90 patients with no breast cancer.
According to doctoral student Daniyah Alfattani, “The results of our study show that breast cancer does induce autoantibodies against specific tumor-associated antigens. We were able to detect cancer with reasonable accuracy by identifying these autoantibodies in the blood.” This blood test needs to be further developed and validated. They expect to have the test available in 4-5 years. But since this research was done in 2019, we’re just a few years away.
A younger scientist is also working on a blood test that can detect all cancers. Who knows what the future will hold in this area? Time will tell.
What do you think about the possibility of detecting cancer at even earlier stages through a blood test? I’m excited. It may be a test that prompts doctors to looker deeper.
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Ginny Dent Brant is a speaker and writer who grew up in the halls of power in Washington, DC. She has battled cancer, ministered around the world, and served on the front lines of American culture as a counselor, educator, wellness advocate, and adjunct professor. Brant’s award-winning book, Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, was endorsed by Chuck Colson and featured in many TV and media interviews. Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer was released in May 2020 after her journey with cancer and was recently awarded the First Place Golden Scrolls Award for Memoirs, and Second Place in both Selah Awards for Memoirs and Director’s Choice Award for Nonfiction at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. It recently received the Christian Authors Network’s (CAN) Gold Award for Excellence in Marketing for reaching 62.5 million people with a message of cancer prevention and survival. It was written with commentary from an oncologist and was featured on CBN’s Healthy Living Show, Atlanta Live, and CTN’s Homekeepers along with over 75 media outlets. Learn more and cancer and wellness prevention blog and book information at www.ginnybrant.com.