Breast Cancer Risk Assessments and Screening Methods
- Early detection is the key to improved survival
- Understanding your risk will allow you to better manage your breast health
Until recently, the standard care for screening women to assess their breast health and risk of developing breast cancer was review of family history, physical breast exam, plus regular mammography for women over 40 or 50.
However, clinical experience has shown that none of these methods are effective in identifying cancers at the cellular level. By the time cancer is detected by either physical examination or mammography, a woman may have had the disease for six to ten years, with significant risk of serious consequences - including death.
Now, the HALO Breast Pap Test can detect cellular abnormalities years before a larger, potentially cancerous lesion might develop.
Is HALO a diagnostic test?
No, HALO is not a diagnostic test. A diagnostic test confirms whether or not symptomatic (with symptoms) patients actually have a disease. HALO is a risk assessment test meaning that it helps physicians stratify an asymptomatic woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in the future.
Does HALO replace mammograms?
No, HALO is a complement to mammograms. Mammograms look for lesions (cancer) and are most effective as women age. HALO is looking for abnormal cells, years before they might turn into a lesion, and the test is effective in women as young as 25. If you already have a growth in your milk ducts when you first have a HALO test, it is possible that the affected duct could be blocked so that HALO could not collect a fluid sample. This is why it’s important to continue with routine mammograms and breast exams.