One day women may be able to go to the dentist for a breast cancer screening.
Researchers at the University Of Texas Health Science Center in Houston have developed a saliva test that can find the presence of breast cancer proteins, even before a tumor has formed.
The study included saliva samples from some women who were healthy, some with benign breast tumors and some with malignant breast cancer. Proteins are secreted by glands in the mouth and a person's protein profile changes with the presence of cancer.
The saliva test was able to identify about 50 proteins that were different in the women with cancer and those without. Researchers hope this will lead to a saliva screening for breast cancer.
The study was funded by the Dean's Office at the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston.