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Breast Health is a Year-Round Priority: New Technology Identifies Risk of Breast Cancer in Younger Women

Thursday, October 29, 2009 General News J E 4
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IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 28 Although Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming to an end, smart women know that taking care of their health is important throughout the year. What's more, women age 25 and older now have a tool to help them understand their potential risk for breast cancer. Based on the same science as the PAP test for cervical cell changes, HALO® is the only FDA-cleared risk assessment tool for non-hereditary breast cancer. HALO can help identify women at increased risk for breast cancer years before a lump might appear, allowing for clinical intervention aimed at prevention and early detection.

It is estimated that 11,000 breast cancer diagnoses occur each year in women under the age of 40 who are too young for mammograms, and that 85% of women diagnosed with the condition have no direct family history of the disease. Yet all too often, women rely solely on mammograms and breast exams to detect abnormal tissue or believe they are not at risk if they do not have breast cancer in their family.

"Before HALO, it was very difficult to collect cells from the breast ducts that might help us identify women who are at risk for developing breast cancer, particularly women too young for mammography," said Alison L. Laidley MD, FACS, FRCS(C), of Breast Surgeons of North Texas. "HALO may help physicians identify women who need close monitoring or perhaps further testing because they are at increased risk."

Screening for abnormal cells (also called atypia) with HALO can help women and their doctors identify precancerous changes, closely monitor them and develop an optimal care path aimed at prevention. Women found to have atypia are four-to-five times more likely to develop breast cancer in the future.

HALO is designed as a complement to mammography and breast exams, the current standard screening for breast cancer. HALO is not a replacement for current routine screening with breast exams and mammograms. HALO is recommended annually for women over age 25. It is especially helpful for women who are too young for mammograms, or whose mammograms are less effective due to dense breast tissue that can obscure the detection of lesions.

HALO combines warmth, massage and suction to bring nipple aspirate fluid (NAF) to the surface. NAF is found in the milk ducts where virtually all invasive breast cancers originate. The test takes five minutes and is easily incorporated into a typical well-woman visit. The sample is then sent to the lab and analyzed for any cellular abnormalities.

"As a dedicated breast specialist, I believe that women should take a proactive role in understanding their breast healthcare. This proactive process can happen by encouraging women to ask questions and discuss options for risk assessment, screening and prevention with their doctors," said Dr. Laidley.

About NeoMatrix, LLC

Based in Irvine, Calif., NeoMatrix© develops innovative devices that allow women and their doctors to promote optimal breast health. The company's premier product, the HALO Breast Pap Test System, is the first fully automated, noninvasive breast cancer risk assessment tool designed for use in the primary care office setting. The System has been FDA cleared for the collection of nipple aspirate fluid for cytological evaluation for the determination and/or differentiation of normal versus pre-malignant versus malignant cells. For further information, visit www.neomatrix.com.

SOURCE NeoMatrix, LLC
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