Today in Neighborhood Health Watch, one of the largest studies ever is underway right now to validate a test which would identify the early existence of breast cancer before it even shows up on a mammogram.
We all know that the earlier breast cancer is found, the greater the chance of a cure. This clinical trial that's happening now is called the Strive Study. It examines blood samples taken from women who are not currently having a concern or issue.
Right now, the best tool for breast cancer screening is the mammogram, but Dr. Ryan Gabriel with Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute, HCA says the hope is that one day this could augment - maybe even replace - but potentially augment mammograms.
"When patients give their blood samples, the lab is going to analyze it and look at little parts of the DNA from cancer cells, and they're going to say, can we see little fragments of cancer cells within the blood even before they appear on a mammogram?" said Dr. Gabriel.
"Signing up is really easy. If you've got an appointment with the Sarah Cannon at Johnston Willis or Henrico Forest, you get an email or a letter. You get an enrollment code. You go online at JOINSTRIVE.COM and then from there, you fill in all of your information. You do all of your consent forms and the questionnaire and you are ready to go for giving blood when you get your screening mammogram."
The hope is to get 120,000 women from across the country to participate in the painless and easy Strive Study, that only involves you only giving a blood sample. Participants get a $25 Amazon gift card.