Twenty percent of breast cancer return in five years.
A huge advance in the fight against breast cancer Tuesday as the FDA approved the first molecular test that can predict whether an early-stage breast cancer patient will likely get it again later if it goes into remission.
The test, called mammaprint, uses data from 70 genes to determine how aggressive the tumor is. It's actually a computer program that uses this information to predict whether a patient has a low or high risk for recurrence within the next five to ten years. Researchers found high risk patients had about double the chance of developing another tumor when compared to low risk patients.
Although researchers are very excited about this new test for breast cancer, it's not foolproof. But even with occasional false positives or false negatives, FDA experts say this information is better than no information and that doctors should use this in combination with other factors. There are similar tests on the market that have not gone through the FDA approval process.