Julia Bradbury says simple breast cancer test could’ve ‘saved’ breast – what is the test?

Julia Bradbury inspects her new breast after mastectomy

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The 51-year-old Countryfile presenter was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2021 after a large tumour was found in her left breast. A month later, she received a double mastectomy to remove her breasts. But the ordeal, Bradbury believes, could’ve been avoided if a saliva test, which has been found to help accurately predict a high risk of breast cancer, was available on the NHS.

The star went to social media on Monday to spread the word about the new test, and encourage its adoption.

Alongside sharing an article about the tests, she wrote on Twitter: “I could have saved my left breast if I’d have had this saliva test.

“Thousands of other women could be saved from the trauma of brutal treatment.”

According to the results of a study by The University of Manchester, published in the journal Genetics in Medicine, the simple test could help to better identify the risk of breast cancer in women, potentially allowing them to take steps to prepare themselves for breast cancer, such as mammograms or taking a different medication.

The study looked at nearly 2,500 women, 644 of whom went on to develop breast cancer over 10 years.

It found that alongside information already used to calculate risk, such as breast density and weight, the saliva test, which measures over 300 genetic differences, was able to accurately predict a higher risk of breast cancer in a little under 50 percent of people who went on to develop the disease.

With current NHS procedures, many women would not have been able to find out about this higher risk of cancer.

Bradbury told the MailOnline: “If I could have had a saliva test which showed I had an increased risk of breast cancer, that could have led to my cancer being detected earlier, and could have saved my left breast.”

This was confirmed by medical professor Gareth Evans from the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

He said: “I really believe that if Julia could have been given this genetic test, and doctors used the results, she would have been screened from the age of 40.

“That could have meant her breast cancer being picked up much sooner by a mammogram.

“This could apply to as many as one in eight women with no family history of breast cancer.”

Currently, the NHS only offers yearly mammograms or MRI scans to check for breast cancer after the age of 50.

However, people with a family history of the condition may start screening younger than most people.

In recent weeks, the star has been open about how undergoing a double mastectomy has made her feel.

She explained in vivid detail what it was like before the surgery.

Talking to With You Magazine about the black dots and dashes that were used to mark the surgery, she said: “They were like something you see in the butchers. I felt like a piece of meat on a block.

“At that point – and I think this is a moment that every woman who has had a mastectomy will share – I had never felt so lost, so out of control and so deeply sad.

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