Covering The Cost of a HALO
A Quick and Comfortable ExamIf you choose to have a HALO test, it will take only five minutes, and can be done right in your clinic. Most women say that it is comfortable, and feels similar to using a breast pump. In a study of 500 women by at the University of Utah, researchers noted that the majority of women tolerated the test quite well, and found it less invasive than ductal lavage or fine needle aspiration. The automated HALO equipment is simple to use, requires just a little training, and is safe for patients.
Preparing for Your HALO Test
During Your HALO Breast Pap Test
No Compression, Just Warmth and Suction
Collecting Nipple Aspiration Fluid for Testing
Getting Your HALO Test ResultsIt may take a week to get results of your HALO test back from the lab. Your doctor will contact you with the results and explain what they mean. Some possible results are:
- No fluid: no concerns and normal (not increased) risk for breast cancer
- Benign nipple discharge: may be caused by medicines, infections, intraductal papillomas, or pregnancy
- Fluid containing normal cells: indicates a risk for breast cancer which is twice the normal risk
- Fluid containing abnormal cells: raises your risk for breast cancer up to 4-5 times the normal risk
Taking Action If Your Risk Level Is Higher Than NormalAfter taking the HALO test, if you find that you have a doubled risk or you are at high risk for developing breast cancer, you can start taking action. Being at risk does not mean that you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, but that you have cells that may be in a precancerous state. Taking control of several things may help lower your risk:
- Change your lifestyle and make healthier choices
- Step up your routine screenings and have enhanced/increased breast imaging
- Learn how to do your breast self-exam properly, and have annual clinical breast exams
- Ask your doctor about drugs, such as Tamoxifen, and minor surgical procedures that may help reduce your risk
Hollingsworth AB, et al. Current comprehensive assessment and management of women at increased risk for breast cancer. Am J Surgery 2004; 187: 349-62.
Jeffrey A. Tice, et al. Nipple Aspirate Fluid Cytology and the Gail Model for Breast Cancer Risk Assessment in a Screening Population. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Vol. 14, 324-328, February 2005.