EDGEWOOD, Ky.And the September 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Patients at St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s now have the ability to screen for 50 different types of cancer, thanks to a new blood test launched in June 2022.
This new test, known as ® . Gallery, detects DNA from cancer cells in the bloodstream. Because this DNA differs from DNA from the rest of the body’s normal cells, it can help identify a potential tumor that may require medical attention.
The new test is groundbreaking for patients because it can identify cancers that are currently difficult to detect.
“This test is so good at picking up cancers that we don’t currently have good screening options, such as ovarian or pancreatic cancer,” Jaime’s reasonElizabeth, M.S., director of the Saint Elizabeth Centers for Breast and Precision Medicine. “These cancers are difficult to detect in the early stages. This new test allows us to screen for these diseases in a way we weren’t able to do before.”
The impact of early detection testing may be significant because 70% of cancer deaths are caused by cancers that are not under effective screening. Currently, there are only tests for breast, cervix, colon, lung and prostate cancer and they must be done one by one. This blood test screens 50 different types of cancer at once.
According to officials, it’s important to note that the Galleri® test is intended to complement—not replace—existing cancer screenings, such as mammograms, low-dose CT scans, or colonoscopy. Thus, patients still have to check with their provider for routine checkups.
The blood test is currently available at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for patients over 50 who are thought to have no cancer but who may be at risk. Not recommended for pregnant women. Any cancer treated patient must have been in remission for at least three years before testing.
How does the test work and affect the treatment?
The test is simple. It only requires drawing blood, and results will be available within two weeks. Positive results may identify concern about having cancer in a specific part of the body, even two affected parts of the body. For example, results may indicate a positive screening for lung or pancreatic cancer.
When a patient receives positive results, they are contacted by a licensed genetic counselor to review the results and are immediately registered with the St. Elizabeth Cancer Prevention Clinic. Clinic staff helps make an appointment with an oncologist for additional tests and any imaging studies required.
The Cancer Prevention Clinic is part of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Precision Medicine and Genetics Program Intended for genetic testing, early detection and prevention. The clinic provides services to patients who want to proactively prevent cancer after learning that they have a genetic risk or an increased risk due to a very strong family history of cancer. The Galleri® test will be a useful addition to the health system’s current preventive measures.
“We see patients in our prevention clinic because we try to identify cancers in their early stages when they are easy to treat. We are also interested in measures that can be taken to prevent cancer,” says Grund. “This blood test fits well with our early detection and prevention efforts.”
So far, St. Elizabeth has completed testing on a handful of patients, and no one has gotten a positive result. In fact, based on cancer rates, only 1 to 2% of people can expect positive results. In general, the patient’s response was relief from anxiety and worry.
“This test is very good at picking up the things it’s looking for, but the patient is very unlikely to get cancer,” she says. “It is very likely that if you did this test, we would give you reassurance rather than worry. However, with this test, we have a network to identify people with cancer. It is an opportunity to help them through diagnosis and treatment.”
Currently, testing is not covered by insurance and costs $949 Pay out of pocket. To learn more, please contact a licensed genetic counselor at (859) 301-GENE (4363).
About Saint Elizabeth Healthcare
St. Elizabeth Healthcare operates six facilities and more than 172 primary care and specialty practices across Northern KentuckyAnd the Southeast Indiana And the Greater Cincinnati region. Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Covington and a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, St. Elizabeth is a mission-based organization committed to improving the health of the communities it serves, providing more than 108 million dollars in unpaid care and benefit to the community each year.
SOURCE SAINT ELIZABETH HEALTHCARE