News Flash > Women's Health


Majority of Breast Cancer Patients Don't Get Tested

Reported September 15, 2009

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Breast cancer patients may not be receiving the right medicine, a new study suggests.

New studies reveal a lack of information about new testing technologies for breast cancer. According to standard care, women with early stage breast cancer should be tested for tumors with the HER2- protein. Women testing positive are eligible for Trastuzumab, an anti- cancer drug only effective in HER2- positive cancers.

The study’s review indicates that women who may benefit from the drug are not all receiving it, and not all women receiving the drug have been tested. Two-thirds of patients eligible for HER2 testing have not been tested according to health insurance records. One in five women receiving the drug had no record of an HER2 test in their records.



Experts urge the importance of HER2 testing in breast cancer patients. With limited health care resources, tests can ensure that the drug reaches the maximum amount of women who need it.

However, authors also note that the test is not a full-proof solution. One in five HER2 tests may not be accurate.

SOURCE: Cancer, November 15, 2009