Dentists May Soon Be AbleTo Test For Breast Cancer


Wow-- this is pretty amazing. Scientists are developing a developing a saliva test that dentists will be able to use to screen patients for breast cancer. This test will, it is hoped, be able to check saliva for certain proteins whose presence indicates breast cancer, thus giving women a priceless early warning. Thus far, although based on a small population of women, the study results look promising.

I know this is a good thing, and far easier to undergo than a mammogram, but I worry that as hard as it is to get myself to the dentist now, being nervous about cavities and breast cancer all on the same trip may end up making me even more reluctant to visit the dentist. But apparently studies have shown that women are more likely to go to the dentist a couple of times a year than they are to visit a mammography technician for their annual mammogram.

Saliva analysis has been used in the past to monitor patient response to chemotherapy and to surgical treatment. So scientists realized it only makes sense to also consider what else saliva may be able to tell us about breast cancer.

This will be pretty amazing if it works out. A saliva test sounds much easier than a mammogram, and the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chances of beating it!

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