Breast Cancer Blood Test

There is a breast cancer blood test that has been available for some time.  The older test is not good for screening, but can be useful for following the progress of treatment in someone who has already been diagnosed with a tumor.

There are also two newer tests that can be used for screening under certain circumstances and if the doctor is very familiar with their use.

CA-27,29 Test

The older one is called a CA-27,29.  It can sometimes detect a specific protein that is put out by the tumor as it grows. 

The possible confusion with its use is that it can increase as the tumor is dying from whatever therapy the person is doing. 

It is also not very accurate in cases of ductal breast cancer, which is by far more common than adenocarcinoma, the glandular form of breast malignancy.  That is the reason many oncologists do not use this marker.

In 1931 OttoWarburg, M.D., PhD received a Nobel prize for proving that cancer cells of all types use an abnormal method of burning sugar to produce energy that is vastly different (and vastly less efficient) than normal healthy cells. 

It is called anaerobic metabolism and the cells burn sugar without using oxygen.

At the moment the cell switches over, it also starts producing an enzyme called“nagalase”.  The enzyme then starts to“cloak” the cancer cells so that the immune system cannot detect it.  This is the reason why it is possible to have a very strong immune system and still grow a tumor.

Nagalase levels, in a person’s body, can be detected and measured by a simple bloodtest.  It takes some training and understanding by the doctor to properly interpret the test result because certain infections can cause it to be abnormal as well. 

When accurately utilized, it can be used to screen for the presence of cancer in the body or to measure the progress of treatment.