HALO Breast Pap Test – A risk assesment tool and evaluation of the cells of the milk ducts of the breast before develop into cancer. It is an underrated examination but can help a long way in early detection of breast cancer.
Since 1947, Georgios Papanikolaou had evaluated the study of cells from the discharge nipple breast, where sometimes there are abnormal cells before cancer occurs. Just a rationale as Pap Test Cervical. Usually collect exudate nipple made by the clinician, then massasing the breast or by invasive methods of pores.
The method of the massage is no efficient enought because it depents on both the handling and the size of the breast. Since 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have authorized and approved the Breast Pap Test with the HALO device – which is non invasive collection of the discharge from the breast nipple . It is atraumatic method, harmless, without much pain, which can be repeated as many times as it is necessary.
The compressions are made with hyperemia (heat) of the breast , causing easier receiving exudate. This process takes only five minutes.
In US studies , the percentage of women who have breast nipple discharge is approximately 50% who do not present collection is undefined , but can be considereted as a positive element.
The material for the study of women fiving fluid from the breast , is evaluated as unsatisfactory , of normal cells inthe highest percentage of women. A small but 1-3 % show some cellular atypia which although not indicative that the woman will become ill from cancer in the future, must be checked with other non-invasive methods (oultrasound, mammography, MRI, etc) and have an annual follow up.
Examination of Breast Pap, assess cancer risk 8-10 years before detected by ultrasound or mammography. The recommendation on the implementation of the test is for women age 25 years old and older who is not required mammography.
Having thus the elements that lead us to evaluate the degree of risk for development of future cancer.
Finally, i would like to recall the words of George Papanikolaou, that, as a Pap cervical sounded the alarm, so the Breast Pap Test must be addressed in the future and by doctors and women.
Written by John Sianos
PhD University of Athens – Member of the International Academy of Cytology