ERIE, Pa - A simple blood test that accurately detects the presence or absence of breast cancer in patients with questionable imaging findings, is now available in Erie.
There is only one center in the tri-state area that performs this kind of testing.
According to the Center for Disease Control, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women regardless of race or ethnicity.
This year, more than 40,000 women will die from breast cancer.
When a woman receives abnormal or unclear mammogram results, doctors will suggest she get a biopsy or a follow-up in six months.
Videssa Breast, a new blood test, can eliminate unnecessary biopsies or the anxiety of waiting months for an answer.
"Women are coming in saying, 'Probably benign? What do you mean probably benign? I want to know is it benign or is it malignant.' And that's what we're here to let people know."
The test, a simple blood drawing that takes about a week to process, identifies early warning signs of breast cancer in the blood, called biomarkers.
The results of Videssa Breast give doctors a 98-99% negative predicitive value.
Doctor Danielle Duchini says that pathology is the gold standard.
"Videssa Breast not only provides patients with vital medical information, but it also gives them peace of mind."
"That anxiety is a tremendous burden. This test can eliminate that to some degree."
Suzanne McClure, one of Dr. Duchini's patients, had conflicting test results and was told to get an exploratory biopsy.
She was the perfect candidate for Videssa Breast.
"I want the general public and my women sisters to know about this test."
Videssa Breast is not approved as a screening test just yet.
At this point, it's only for women who have questionable or difficult to interpret mammogram findings.
However, there is a push in the medical community for women to have the option of this blood test in lieu of a mammogram or other similar tests in the future.