• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Blood test can help diagnose breast cancer

A blood test can help women with a history of breast cancer find out if they at risk for recurring cancer.

June 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Lancet Oncology Journal conducted a study that tested the blood of women who have had breast cancer to see if they could predict the recurrence of cancer.

Researchers tested the blood of women who were diagnosed with operable breast cancer to track circulating tumor cells and predict whether the cancer would reoccur based on the amount of cells.

The findings of the study showed that close to 25 percent of women who had non-metastatic breast cancer had at least one circulating tumor cell in their blood.

Women who had a circulating tumor cell had at least four times the chance of dying then a woman without tumor cells. The study also says that the higher number of tumor cells directly correlates to the probability of recurring cancer.

The researchers believe that this test will provide important prognostic information to patients to help them learn more about their risk factors and what to watch for.