Breast Cancer Blood Test

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

There arealso two newer tests that can be used for screening under certain circumstancesand if the doctor is very familiar with their use.

CA-27,29 Test

The olderone is called a CA-27,29.  It cansometimes detect a specific protein that is put out by the tumor as itgrows. 

The possible confusion with itsuse is that it can increase as the tumor is dying from whatever therapy theperson is doing. 

It is also not veryaccurate in cases of ductal breast cancer, which is by far more common thanadenocarcinoma, the glandular form of breast malignancy.  That is the reason many oncologists do notuse this marker.

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

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

At themoment 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 havea very strong immune system and still grow a tumor.

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

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