A new blood test for breast cancer is being made available to women in England for the first time.

NEW EARLY DIAGNOSIS CANCER TEST OFFERED BY NUFFIELD HEALTH A new blood test for breast cancer is being made available to women in England for the first time.The simple check, shown in initial trials to detect cancer earlier than traditional scans, is being offered at Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital.

The test is already being offered at Nuffield Health’s Glasgow Hospital and Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital is one of the first centres in England to give patients the option.

It works by looking for changes in the blood caused by the presence of a tumour in the breast area and has detected cancers as tiny as 3mm across.

Women are counselled carefully before they decide to have their blood screened at a cost of approximately �499.

Blood is taken from patients for the test, known as Diagenic BCtect, using a needle in the usual fashion. The sample is then put in a special tube to preserve the genetic material and it is sent to a laboratory in Brussels for analysis.

Dr James Mackay, a consultant genetic oncologist at University College London, has brought the test to the UK, "I believe that the development of this new blood test for the early diagnosis of breast cancer is the most exciting advance in this field over the last 25 years. I am delighted to be working closely with consultant breast surgeon Mr Simon Cawthorn to make Diagenic BCtect available through the Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital to patients in whom it is clinically appropriate. We know that earlier diagnosis saves lives from breast cancer, and this blood test should make earlier diagnosis a reality for women".

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Among those likely to benefit from the test are younger women, who have denser breast tissue which makes abnormalities harder to spot using traditional scanning techniques.

The cancer may only affect a small cluster of cells in the breast – but the tell-tale signs can be found in the patient’s blood.

By taking a sample and looking for a number of markers, experts can help determine whether a patient has developed the disease or not.

Patients interested in the test should contact the Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital and organise an appointment with the breast care clinic run by Mr Cawthorn, consultant breast surgeon. Since qualifying in 1976 in London, he has specialised in breast assessments and has trained in all aspects of breast surgery including breast plastic reconstructive surgery and breast plastic cosmetic surgery.

“Women can be anxious and are unsure how to check themselves,” said Mr Cawthorn. “Here at the clinic, we offer a number of ways to help detect any signs of breast cancer. The screening tests available include Ultra-sound, digital mammography, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), breast scanning, and now the new leading blood test, BCtect.

“For those patients that are high-risk, digital mammograms are beneficial, however for those women whose breasts are glandular on the mammogram, a new breast cancer blood test, BCtect is available only at the Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital,” added Mr Cawthorn.

For more information, please contact Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital on 0117 987 2727

Nuffield Health Bristol HospitalSt Mary’sUpper Byron PlaceCliftonBristolBS8 1JUor visit

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