Thursday, May 24, 2012

A test can tell if breast cancer will recur

LONDON: Scientists have devised a new, cheap breast cancer test that can accurately predict if a tumour is likely to return after surgery, a breakthrough they say could spare women the ordeal of chemotherapy.

The test, likely to cost about £120 and expected to be available by the year end, uses a technology already available in almost all NHS labs to estimate the risk of recurrence of the most common type of the disease, called oestrogen positive (ER+) breast cancer.

At present around half of the women diagnosed with breast cancer undergo chemotherapy following their surgery to reduce the chances of the illness returning . But, scientists behind the test, called ICH4, think many don't need to have this exhausting treatment as their tumours are 'low risk' and unlikely to recur , the Daily Mail reported.

They estimate that the ICH4 test could pick out between 4,000 and 5,000 women every year in the UK alone who would not need chemotherapy, which lasts up to six months and normally causes side effects.

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