A new breast cancer test capable of detecting the disease at an early stage could be available to private patients next year, it has been announced.
The test, which has been created by Norwegian life sciences company DiaGenic ASA, could enable doctors to provide more timely cancer treatment, potentially saving many lives.
Dr James Mackay, medical director of distributor Opaldia, said that the test is "an exciting new weapon in the fight against breast cancer".
The test has been welcomed by charity Cancer Research UK, which described the results as "exciting".
The charity's professor of screening, Professor Stephen Duffy, said: "It is unusual to see a blood test which is estimated to have 80 per cent or more sensitivity to early breast cancer.
"If this can be validated in independent studies, there may well be a role for the test in screening and diagnosis of breast cancer, particularly for women with high breast density where the job of mammography is more difficult."