New check hope for breast cancer

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The Independent Online
THOUSANDS OF women who have had breast cancer could have a better quality of life if a new test is introduced, scientists said yesterday.

At present, all post-menopausal, breast-cancer patients are given aggressive drug and chemotherapy treatments because the standard test only detects recurrences in 7 per cent of cases. The new test - in which cells taken from the lymph nodes are stained with a substance that triggers an immune response - can identify tumours in 20 per cent of cases.

The hope is that women cleared by the new test will be able to safely skip the treatments, with their unpleasant side effects.

The new research, by a team led by Professor Munro Neville of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, will be published in The Lancet tomorrow.