Breast Cancer: New Saliva Test to Help Determine the Risk

A new saliva test is helping the average woman determine her risk of developing breast cancer.

Alicia Anderson found out about a year ago on her 40th birthday that her mammogram revealed something suspicious.

“I was extremely surprised because I had previous mammograms and it was no big deal. They were clean. This one was… it hit me hard,” she said.

Although it turned out to be nothing, Anderson’s doctor, Dr. Jay Staub of Dallas Health Central Women’s Care, still recommended Onca Vue, a new cutting-edge genetic test.

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The test showed Anderson’s chance of developing breast cancer was 10 times higher than the average woman, even though the disease does not run in her family.

The mother of two and nurse anesthetist admits she had her doubts about the new technology and her results.

“I did. And my doctor said they ran the test more than once to make sure the results were more than accurate,” she said. “From there I did my own research.”

Dr. Staub is on the physician advisory board for Intergenetics, the company that makes the test. In the last year he’s offered it, 60 to 70 percent of his patients have used it with most insurance companies covering a portion or most of the cost.

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And while getting the news that she has a high probability of one day developing breast cancer, Anderson feels better knowing she can try to catch it early if it ever comes to that.

“I’d rather have more information to have more power, to have more control over my health care in the future so I think that’s what the test gave me,” she said.

The folks at Susan G. Koman for the Cure said they simply don’t know enough about the knew test to comment on it, but do encourage women to have frank discussions with their doctors about potential risk factors for the disease.


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