A study offers hope for a simple test to diagnose breast cancer earlier than can be done now. Cancer appears to affect 49 proteins found in saliva. A simple test to measure the type and amount of these proteins might be able to detect breast cancer.
Until it's possible to prevent breast cancer completely, diagnosing breast cancer early -- when it's most easily treated -- should be everyone's priority. Regular breast self-exams, breast exams by a doctor, and screening mammograms are the best early detection tools available today. Still, none of these is perfect. A simple saliva test that might detect breast cancer earlier and better than current screening tests could mean more breast cancer diagnoses made earlier, more successful breast cancer treatment, and more lives saved.
An inexpensive and easy-to-do screening test could be very valuable in developing countries where mammograms are either too expensive or not available for many women.
Visit the breastcancer.org Screening and Testing section to learn more about the best approaches to detect breast cancer.