Health: New test may mean less radiation for cancer patients - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Health: New test may mean less radiation for cancer patients

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(WOIO) -

A potentially huge medical breakthrough: A new test may mean less radiation for cancer patients, especially for women with breast cancer.

This new test only applies right now to ductal carcinoma, basically the piping system that provides breast milk and while this a very small percentage of the types of breast cancers that are out there, this is a huge step in the area of treatment.

"It's good news, it really is good news," said Dr. Christine Alexander.
     
Dr. Christine Alexander with MetroHealth is one of many encouraged by this latest breast cancer breakthrough.

After a woman has the lump known as ductal carcinoma removed, the genes in the tissue are put through this new test -- looking for the answers to some very important questions.

"Is this going to stay pretty benign? Is this going to go on to be reoccurrence disease of the same type or is it going to go on to be an invasive disease," said Dr. Christine Alexander.

And the test has proven to be very accurate. Meaning for some women if the risk of the cancer ever coming back is very low, the way they get treated for it will change.

"So for women who test low risk by this new method they can just decide to have the lump removed and call it a day, and feel more comfortable with the idea that the cancer won't come back," said Dr. Christine Alexander.

 And the idea of saving some women the pain and risk of radiation and chemotherapy makes this a massive step forward.

"Now we have a test that suggests we can really tease out how low risk you are versus high risk. So we can save a lot of women from unnecessary radiation," said Dr. Christine Alexander.

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