New blood test helps detect breast cancer earlier - WNEM TV 5

New blood test helps detect breast cancer earlier

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Breast cancer is the third leading cause of death for women, but now doctors may have a new tool to help fight the disease.

A new blood test may help detect breast cancer even earlier than before.

"It's a crazy feeling, but it's like your whole life flashes in front of you," said Lisa Cook, patient.

She received the call from her doctor that no one ever wants to get. Her mammogram came back abnormal and she would need additional testing to see if it was cancer.

"During that time, it's like OK you know there has been a lot of men and women that have had the same result. And probably felt the same way as I did. And I thought I just have to be strong and keep it together," Cook said.

Shortly after receiving her results, St. Mary's of Michigan called Cook. They wanted to let her know about a new blood test that had become available locally at Seton Cancer Institute.

Dr. Elayne Arterberry helped bring the unique test to Mid-Michigan.

"It is designed to be used with abnormal mammography. It is not a screening test. We take women who have had an abnormal mammogram who may have been required to come back to additional imagery and it helps us decide who needs additional testing," Arterberry said.

It's called Videssa. it works by testing for certain proteins that are in your blood when breast cancer is present. If the proteins are not there you most likely don't have cancer. Which will help with unnecessary biopsies and additional testing.

The Seton Cancer Institute is the only place in Michigan that offers the Videssa blood test.

Arterberry said the test can also help women who have dense breast tissue since often times it is more difficult to detect cancer in those women.

Cook decided to go ahead with the test. She said her results were normal and she's thrilled to say she doesn't have cancer.

"Totally lifted this heaviness that I had felt before I realized that it is not 100 percent. But it gives you a great feeling that you can conduct your life day to day without having to worry," Cook said.

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