Breast cancer to be detected through saliva

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Washington, Jan 12 (UNI) Human saliva can help provide an early and non-invasive breast cancer diagnosis, a latest study says.

The study suggest patients can be tested for breast cancer by examining certain protein markers in their saliva during a dental visit.

It shows how the onset of breast cancer produces a change in the amount of proteins in glandular secretions from the salivary glands as the protein profile in a healthy person is altered by the presence of cancer.

''Most folks, especially women and children, visit the dentist way more often than they ever see the physician and saliva is a quicker way for detection,'' said lead researcher Charles Streckfus, from the University of Texas, Dental Branch at Houston.

The aim is to bring this type of diagnostic test, which is capable of detecting the presence of cancer before a tumor forms, improving the ease and effectiveness with which dental professionals can provide quick and accurate diagnostic information to their patients.

Researchers analysed saliva samples from 30 patients, finding 49 proteins that differentiated healthy patients from those with benign breast tumors and malignant breast tumors, the Science Daily reported.

Current tools for detecting breast cancer include ultrasounds, regular blood test screenings, mammograms and biopsies - all of which will eventually be supplemented by salivary diagnostics.

''The supplemental chemical confirmation could allow experts to immediately determine the patient's next treatment option, whether its surgery, biopsy or further testing, eliminating false positive results,'' added Dr Streckfus.


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