Doctors using to learn saliva to test for breast cancer

January 14, 2008 2:01:32 PM PST
Doctors may someday be able to test a woman's saliva as a way to detect breast cancer.

Researchers say it would be a quick, inexpensive and simple way to find the disease early.

Right now, mammograms and self-exams are the leading ways for detecting breast cancer. But researchers at the University of Texas say the cancer causes a change in the type and amount of proteins in secretions from the salivary glands. By checking those proteins, doctors think they'll be able to distinguish between healthy women, those with benign breast tumors and those with cancer.