A Tear Test May Seem Like A Bizarre Cancer Detection Method, But It’s Very Accurate
When it comes to screening for breast cancer, the traditional mammogram is what typically comes to mind. Unfortunately for the roughly 40 percent of women in the United States with dense breast tissue, mammography results are easily skewed.
Since early diagnosis is integral to the treatment of breast cancer, researchers have been evaluating alternative approaches to diagnosis. One new and rather unusual screening technique involves the use of tears to test for the presence of cancer.
The Drawbacks Of Mammography
Mammography tests are prone to errors, particularly for those with dense breasts. Women must also take the time to visit a testing center to access a mammogram, a sticking point that contributes to the roughly 50 percent of people who are qualified for a mammogram but choose not to get one. These issues appear to be fueling the need to consider a more accurate and convenient test.
How a Tear Test Works
The noninvasive tear test involves extracting a tear from your eye and placing it on a test strip. The test evaluates the concentration of certain biomarkers and coloration to detect cancer.
This test is not intended to replace a mammogram, but rather to serve as an indicator that one is necessary. Upon detection, mammography tests help pinpoint the location of cancerous cells. Although it is currently in the prototype stage, the test may soon become a reality.
Where do we go from here?
Ascendent DX, the research firm behind this revolutionary test, has been conducting validation studies. Clinical results indicate up to 90 percent accuracy, implying a higher sensitivity than a mammogram. Consequently, Ascendent DX intends to conduct large scale trials to determine the efficacy of the tests.
Once the organization receives FDA approval, it may become readily accessible.