Coincidentally, news today from MD Anderson Cancer Center points to a new test on the horizon that could provide a simple way to predict if breast cancer will return. Scientists are drawing blood to search for the presence of tumor cells circulating in blood stream.
Dr. Anthony Lucci, Jr said, "If the patients had cells in the blood they had at least four times the chance of having a recurrence or death, and for patients who had a lot of cells, let's say three or more, the chance of dying was around 11 times higher."
This test is not yet ready for clinical use because more study is needed. Since doctors have historically relied on surgically removing lymph nodes to tell them whether a breast cancer patient will relapse or even die from their disease. The idea that a simple blood test could predict the chance of relapse is welcome news and will be studied further.
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