New breast cancer test is giving more women hope

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PHOENIX -- One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

The key to survival is early detection, which is why a new test is giving more women hope.

"I regularly fail mammograms and I've had two biopsies and a lumpectomy all benign, but this feels like another layer of really good information," Melanie Rich said.

Any Lab Test Now 8902 E. Via Linda, Suite 115 Scottsdale, AZ 85258 480-451-0002 Dr. Christa Corn 602-246-8666 505 W. McDowell Road, Bldg. A, Phoenix Hours of operation: M-F 7a-8p, Sat 8a-8p 745 W. Baseline Road, Suite 6, Mesa Hours of operation: M-F 7a-8p, Sat 8a-2p 13708 N. 51st Ave., Glendale Hours of operation: M-F 7a-8p, Sat 8a-2p 4015 E. Bell Road, Suite 128, Phoenix Hours of operation: M-F 7a-5p, Sat 8a-2p 4747 N. First Ave, Tucson (First Ave. & River) Hours of operation: M-F 7a-5p, Sat 8a-4p 6121 E. Broadway, Suite 147, Tucson (Broadway & Wilmot) Hours of operation: M-F 7a-5p, Sat 8a-4p 1-800-LAB-EXPRESS 1-800-522-3977

Rich is talking about the new Provista Life Sciences blood test for breast cancer, the BT Test. It was just introduced to the public in January and is geared toward women 35 years and older.

"I'm really proactive about my health and while I do have risk factors I can't control, I also have risk factors I can control," Rich said.

Rich is hoping this blood test is something she can add into what she's already doing. She's been getting annual mammograms for the last 20 years due to risk factors that include a family history of cancer.

"The mammogram is right now the gold standard," said Valley breast surgeon Dr. Christa Corn. "We want you to have that. We still want you to do the self breast exams."

But Corn believes doing the BT Test in conjunction with other diagnostic procedures like the mammogram can give women an earlier and more accurate detection of breast cancer.

"The BT Test gives you a score," Corn said. "You'll have a BT equals 0 to 100. Anything less than 30 is negative. Thirty to 60 is sort of indeterminate. Anything over 70 is positive and what do we do with those women? Again, that's partly my role to help say this is what we should do."

Corn is one of a few physicians around the country that help Provista Life Sciences read the lab results.

"And when you get your blood test, they will send you your results," Corn said. "And they will send you a letter and my number will be on that, so if you have any questions you can call me. If your score is indeterminate or high, I will be calling you."

While the BT Test is relatively new, not every doctor is providing it at their facility. So places like Any Lab Test Now located in the Fry's Marketplace shopping center in Scottsdale can be a good resource.

"The nice thing about this is twofold," Perry Simons said. "That, of course, you don't have an appointment. You can come in at your leisure. And, No. 2, you own the results."

Rich said those two factors were very appealing. She also likes that Any Lab Test Now recommends doctors to talk to about their results.

"There isn't a perfect test," Corn said. "It would be really cool if this was the first step to a perfect test because I would love to just have the blood test, but we're a little too early for that. But it's a great tool in addition to our standard we know works, mammogram, to help us make better decisions."