Blood test can predict breast cancer 5 years before having clear symptoms

An innovative blood test will be able to predict breast cancer upto five year before any real symptoms appear, according to a recent study.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom suggest that a blood test that screens for the presence of certain antibodies could help detect breast cancer early and easily.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women around the globe and most types of it are treatable, with high survival rates. There were over 2 million new cases in 2018. Breast cancer has ranked number one cancer among Indian females with age adjusted rate as high as 25.8 per 100,000 women and mortality 12.7 per 100,000 women, according to the data available.

However, it is difficult to detect at early stages as it does not always produce obvious symptoms.

The researchers now suggest that when cancer is present, it produces antigens. These are substances that induce an immune response. The immune system then tries to counteract these substances by releasing autoantibodies.

So, the team started developing a blood test that would be able to detect those autoantibodies in the blood and indicate whether or not breast cancer is present.

“The results of our study showed that breast cancer does induce autoantibodies against panels of specific [TAAs],” says study co-author Daniyah Alfattani, a doctoral researcher at the University of Nottingham.

She adds that they “were able to detect cancer with reasonable accuracy by identifying these autoantibodies in the blood.” This innovative blood test could help specialists detect the presence of breast cancer up to 5 years before any visible symptoms occur.


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