The American Clinical Laboratory Association has discovered that testing the genetic and molecular structure of the disease and of the woman who it is affecting allows for more insight into what treatment would be best to proceed with when treating breast cancer.
In some cases the genetic testing can reveal exactly what medicine the patient may need, and the individual won't have to rely on trial and error, or selecting the most aggressive treatment even if it is not called for.
"In many ways, genetic testing represents the future of cancer care," says Alan Mertz, American Clinical Laboratory Association President. "The potential is dramatic - earlier detection, better outcomes and fewer damaging side-effects."
With these new genetic tests, doctors will be able to give their patients a more personal treatment plan that is designed specifically for them. Knowing exactly what treatment to go with can increase their chances of survival and also lower the odds of recurrence.
One test is designed to detect a certain protein found on surface of a breast cancer tumor. If that protein is present, doctors can prescribe a drug that would deactivate it.
According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S. With greater awareness and better ways to diagnose and treat the disease, approximately 66 percent of those diagnosed with the disease can expect to recover.