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New Research: Blood Test For Breast Cancer

May 22, 2009, 6:10 PM by Kelli Grant

New Research: Blood Test For Breast Cancer
One in eight woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer and beating it begins with early detection.

Some promising research being done in Sioux Falls could help women fight the disease in the future by finding it before a mammogram does.

Breast cancer survivor and Sanford Researcher Dr. Kristi Egland just learned her dream will get a $450,000 boost. Thanks to Susan G Komen for the Cure, breast cancer may soon be detected through a blood test.

Two-years-ago this scientist wasn't sitting in her lab; she was sitting through hours of chemotherapy and radiation.

“And it was a big lump with lymph node involvement and I went through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, you know the whole thing. Everything I possibly could,” Sanford Researcher Dr. Kristi Egland said.

As a survivor and researcher, she knows early detection can save lives. That's why she's researching whether a blood test can spot breast cancer much sooner.

“We want to make a sensitive diagnostic test that would be able to detect a tumor before the current methods of say mammography,” Egland said.

The idea is that the blood test would become routine after a woman turns 35.

“The dream is that this test would be similar to what PSA is for prostate cancer with men. In that a woman would just have her blood drawn yearly, routine, and it would be done as if let’s say you had your lipids looked at. It would just be standard test that you would have each year,” Egland said.

Egland says if breast cancer is detected, the blood sample would show antibodies being made to fight off cancer cells.

“Drawing blood is a universal procedure. People know how to draw blood. People know what to expect when they get their blood drawn. It's something that can be carried to rural populations and under-served populations,” Egland said.

Egland says the grant provided by Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation helps to acknowledge that national competitive research is going on right here in South Dakota.

And in the next 7 to 10 years, her research could not only help the women in her life, but also yours.

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