Cited in Yahoo Health – Coming This Summer: A Blood Test That Predicts Breast Cancer
by Korin Miller
A new blood test will be able to accurately (80%) predict whether a woman will develop breast cancer within two to five years. Similar tests are in development for Alzheimer’s and heart disease, too. Thanks to the advocacy of Angelina Jolie and Rita Wilson we know that early detection saves lives. And still, would you want to know?
I was pleased to help out in thinking through the anxiety that understandably accompanies deciding whether to take a blood test that predicts future disease. To read the full article, click here.
But will people actually want to take these tests, knowing that the results may indicate they’ll have a serious health battle in the near future? According to licensed clinical psychologist Alicia Clark, PsyD, the tests may actually help a person’s anxiety about their health by giving them a sense of control.
“Knowledge of a coming disease — or its absence — can deliver awareness and control over precious time and decisions preceding the onset of a major health battle,” she tells Yahoo Health. “In determining how testing information can work for a patient, it is paramount that a patient feel a sense of control and autonomy over the information.”
Unfortunately, Clark says there is no way for people to avoid the anxiety that may come with the choice to take a test or not, but therapy may be able to help someone cope with unfavorable results.