X-Raying Hair May Help Detect Breast Cancer

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A very small study suggests that a special type of x-ray test (alpha-keratin diffraction pattern) done on hair found a unique ring pattern in the hair of women diagnosed with breast cancer. The x-ray test didn't find this ring pattern in the hair of women who weren't diagnosed with breast cancer.

Researchers think that breast cancer might change hair's chemistry or the hair's follicle (hair grows from the follicle).

The x-ray test wasn't perfect in detecting cancer. One woman (out of 13) diagnosed with breast cancer didn't have the ring pattern in her hair. Three women (out of 20) who didn't have breast cancer did have the ring pattern in their hair.

It's much too early to know whether this test will prove to be a reliable way to test for breast cancer. Stay tuned to breastcancer.org to learn about more advances in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

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