There is a new test some doctors say could change the way we treat breast cancer. The new Halo Pap Test for the breast is now available to help doctors identify breast disease up to eight years earlier than a lesion might be found on a mammogram.
Breast pap patient Amy Rhoades is taking a screening test that could potentially predict her risk for breast cancer up to eight years in advance.
Amy says this Pap test for the breast is quick and painless. Fluid is extracted from each duct using suction. Technicians then examine the cells for any type of pre-cancerous changes.
Dr. Rosalyn Baxter-Jones, OB-GYN, says that with the Halo Breast Pap Test they are able to detect abnormal cells very early. She was the first physician to use the Halo Breast Pap Test in clinical practice.
Earlier research suggests abnormal cells in duct fluid are an important risk factor for breast cancer.
Finding cellular changes long before a lesion is detected sounds like a great idea, but what if a woman gets an abnormal reading?
OB-GYN Dr. Bryan Jick says women might end up with a lot of unnecessary intervention. He's also concerned women with a normal result might get a false sense of security and skip their mammograms.
For now the Halo Breast Pap Test remains an experimental screening device. But Amy says she can see how it can save a lot of lives.