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Mammograms have been around since the 1920’s and have saved countless lives through early detection of breast cancer. For that we should all be thankful. But, like most medical exams, you just don’t hear many women come away saying that they should do that more often. Truth is, according to my wife, the procedure is a bit uncomfortable.

For that reason a recent invention may make screening for breast cancer a little less traumatic. Called the Halo Breast Pap Test, the testing device as I understand it, is something akin to a breast pump.

It functions as just that, a breast pump. It pumps fluid from the milk ducts which is then tested in a lab for any abnormalities that could indicate cancer.  It has about the same accuracy of detecting early cancer as a mammogram, about 80%. That’s the good news.

The one thing I see missing is that with a mammogram, a tumor or cancerous beginning is located. With the new Halo test, you may know if you have cancer, but you still won’t know where it is. The only way to see what’s really going on is a followup mammogram. And then what if the two tests disagree?

I think overall this is a good thing. The more non invasive ways we have to detect early stage cancer, the more women will be inclined toward testing, and more lives can be saved.

Bottom line. From a life insurance standpoint, if cancer is found on a self exam, mammogram, or the new Halo PAP test, at an early stage and grade, mission accomplished. Early detection is the key to survival and early stage and low grade are the key to a quick road to low life insurance rates.