Breast Cancer Risk Assessment And Antigen Testing [How It Works]
Breast cancer risk assessment and antigen testing is important for not only monitoring cancer risk, but for monitoring disease progression and treatment response. True Health Labs offers three tests specific to breast cancer, including a 2/16 OH urine test, and two breast cancer antigens tests. Learn more about each one below.
How True Health Labs Works
True Health Labs is a Direct Access Testing company that offers functional lab testing from certified labs both in the United States and internationally. Created by Dr. Brady Hurst, the lab’s mission is to provide direct-to-the-public testing to people who don’t have health insurance or who don’t have adequate coverage with the belief that everyone should have access to affordable lab testing.
This includes people whose medical practitioners will not order tests for them or for health-conscious people who want to make their own healthcare choices. Testing can, however be ordered under the direction of a physician as well.
Functional lab testing provides insights into how one’s diet, environment, and other lifestyle factors are affecting their short and long-term health, which is the foundation of preventative and predictive medicine. These insights provide clues into imbalances and dysfunction based on lab ranges and results. Targeted therapies and protocols can then be designed to bring the body back into balance.
Functional Lab Testing
True Health Labs offer a variety of tests, including vitamin and mineral testing, organic acid and food sensitivity testing, autoimmunity screening, blood chemistry and hormone panels, and infectious disease and genetic testing. This is a small sampling of the labs that are available.
True Health Labs has made it easier than ever to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to your health. Their motto is “Great treatment starts with great lab testing.”
Now I’d like to discuss the three labs that are available for breast cancer risk assessment:
1. 2/16 OH Urine Test For Breast Cancer Risk | Estronex
This test evaluates risk factors for cancer by measuring estrogen metabolites, along with their ratios. The ability to metabolize and excrete estrogen is a significant factor in determining breast cancer risk.
Both good (20hydroxyestrone) and bad (16-alpha-hydroxyestrone) estrogen are measured, providing a 2/16 ratio, and a glimpse into a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. Higher levels of “bad” estrogen versus “good” estrogen are correlated to cancers that are estrogen sensitive.
Below are the markers the test measures:
- 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE1) – High levels protect against cancer.
- 2-hydroxyestradiol (2-OHE2) – An estrogen that has anticancer effects.
- 2-methoxyestorne (2-OMeE1) – High levels are ideal and are cancer-protective.
- 4-methoxyestrone (4-OMeE1) – A non-cancerous estrogen that typically doesn’t require treatment when levels are elevated.
- 4-hydroxyestrone (4-OHE1)- High levels can damage DNA, increasing breast cancer risk. Low levels are ideal.
- 16-a-hydroxyestrone (16a-OHE1) – High levels can fuel tumor growth.
- 2-OHE: 16a-OHE1 (2:16 ratio) – Ratios below 2.0 are indicative of increased long-term breast and cervical cancer risk, along with other estrogen-related female cancers. Targeted nutritional strategies are useful for raising Estronex 2:16 ratios, decreasing long-term risk.
- 2-OHE1:2-OMeE1- High numbers reflect imbalanced estrogen metabolism and tumor development.
This lab requires a single urine specimen, which can be taken at home with the kit provided by mail. Fasting is not required. This test is vital for women who have a family history of breast cancer or estrogen-related issues. The lab provides suggestions for balancing estrogen naturally to reduce risk.
2. CA 27.29 Breast Cancer Antigen
Antigens are substances on cells that can be uniquely identified and measured. This lab measures the CA 27.29 antigen and tumor markers associated with breast cancer, and more specifically, stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. It’s also used to detect recurring cancer in patients who have already received treatment for breast cancer.
Higher levels of antigen correspond to increased cancer risk. Numbers under 40 U/ml are considered normal, with values over 40 U/ml suggestive of active or recurring cancers. These levels may also indicate the presence of other types of cancer or conditions that are non-cancerous.
A blood specimen is drawn at a local lab. Fasting is not required. Antigen testing is not typically ordered as a stand-alone test, but is used in conjunction with mammography and comprehensive blood testing to evaluate liver and kidney function. The test monitors metastatic breast cancer progression and treatment. High numbers correlate with worsening pathology, with lower levels signaling a favorable response to treatment.
Levels over 100U/ml are associated with cancer as is more than a 25% increase in values between tests. Elevated results warrant additional testing, such as ultrasound and biopsy, or CT and PET scans.
False positives are possible with this test, levels may be elevated for reasons exclusive of breast cancer, including colon, ovarian, pancreatic and lung cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, benign breast cysts, and acute hepatitis. Furthermore, it’s normal for antigen levels to rise during the first few weeks of cancer treatment as tumor breakdown results in higher concentrations of antigen released into the bloodstream.
3. CA 15-3 Breast Cancer Antigen
CA 15-3 is a serum blood test used in patients who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer. It is not used to diagnose the disease. The test tracks cancer progression, detecting signs of relapse in the early stages. CA 15-3, a cancer oncomarker, is normally low in healthy individuals, with levels under 25 U/ml.
Elevated levels of antigen in the blood are associated with breast cancer, with high tumor marker concentrations correlating to tumor size and metastases. Malignant cell growth is associated with increased antigen secretion, which can occur months before clinical symptoms manifest.
The lab is useful in accessing whether a treatment protocol or therapy is successful, reflected by increasingly lower levels of the antigen. Conversely, if markers rise during therapy, other treatment options need to be explored and implemented.
Interestingly, normal levels don’t entirely rule out breast cancer due to the fact that some tumors don’t produce the antigen in the early stages. High levels may also indicate other types of cancer, including stomach, liver, ovarian, cervical, endometrium, and pancreatic cancer.
Moderate levels of the antigen are associated with diseases, such as autoimmunity, hepatitis, bronchitis, and benign breast tumors. High levels of CA 15-3 can also be found in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Click the banner below to learn more about strategies and protocols you can start doing today to prevent and treat cancer.
Breast cancer risk assessment and antigen testing are helpful for measuring cancer risk, and provide valuable information in the design of treatment protocols based on lab results. True Health Labs offers comprehensive and affordable lab testing that doesn’t require a doctor’s note. They’re certainly my go-to company for quality laboratory testing. Click here to learn more about True Health Labs.
(1) True Health Labs: Cancer Risk Assessment and Antigen Testing
(2) Verywellhealth: What Is The Cancer Antigen 27.29 Test?
(3) NetDoctor: Cancer Antigen CA 15-3 In Breast Cancer Test: Normal Range And Values