A new, possibly simpler way to detect breast cancer, from MU researchers

Mar 13, 2013

Mammogram
Credit Dreamstime

University of Missouri researchers are developing a new procedure to detect breast cancer.

The new test looks for signs of breast cancer in fluid, found in breast ducts. Researchers say the test is more accurate and less invasive than current procedures, according to MU professor Thomas Quinn.

“It’d be nice if you could do this and have the confidence that you don’t have to go in and do invasive procedures like needle biopsies,” Quinn said.

Patients can currently get mammograms, which are only accurate in a portion of the population because of differing breast densities. They can also get biopsies if they already have a known tumor. Quinn says this procedure could be used in conjunction with these procedures, or it could replace the other procedures for some people.

“Being non-invasive and not that expensive it could be done routinely as a monitoring system, especially in populations of patients that may be more prone to breast cancer,” Quinn said.

Quinn says now the team just has to develop a uniform procedure for doctors to start using the test in clinics.