Breast cancer affects one in eight women, making it the most common type of cancer in the UK.
A new study has revealed how a blood test could be used to accurately rule out the deadly condition in some women.
Certain groups of women are more difficult to diagnose breast cancer in than others due to having denser breasts.
However, research published in the journal PLOS ONE showed it was possible to accurately diagnose breast cancer, regardless of breast density, with a type of blood test.
For many women, breast cancer can be diagnosed or ruled out with a mammogram – a low-dose x-ray used to detect breast cancer.
However, for certain women with dense breast tissue, this method can be less reliable and there is the risk of giving the wrong diagnosis.
Some women naturally have more dense breasts than others – meaning they have less fat and more glandular tissue – and it can cause issues when it comes to breast cancer.
“Women who have dense breasts are at a double disadvantage,” said Judith K. Wolf from Chief Medical Officer of Provista Diagnostics.
“Not only are they at higher risk of developing breast cancer, but dense breast tissue can decrease the reliability of imaging and increase the chances of a false finding.
“This study shows that, with an over 99 per cent negative predictive value (NPV), clinicians can confidently use Videssa Breast to detect cancer in women with dense breasts and better determine when biopsy is truly warranted to assess suspicious findings.”
Videssa Breast is a multi-protein biomarker blood test for breast cancer.
The test should allow doctors to better manage difficult-to-diagnose patients.
A previous study published earlier this year in the journal Clinical Breast Cancer found that Videssa Breast when used alongside imaging to diagnose breast cancer when there are abnormal findings could reduce need for biopsy by 67 per cent.
Biopsy is a way of diagnosing diseases, but involves taking a small sample of tissue so it can be examined under a microscope which can be more time-consuming than a blood test.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast density isn’t based on how your breasts feel, and is not related to breast size or firmness.
They explain that it can only be seen on mammograms.
Research has shown that eating sesame seeds can reduce your risk of breast cancer.