The Breast Cancer Index Test (BCI) is a blood test performed to help predict the risk of developing breast cancer. It can also help estimate the risk of your breast cancer returning (recurrence). The test measures the levels of two proteins, PGR and CA15-3, found in the blood. The BCI test and other information determine whether a woman with risk factors or a family history of breast cancer is likely to develop the disease. Who’s Eligible for the Test? The Breast Cancer Index test is for women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and considering hormone therapy. You are eligible for the test if: You've been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. You've completed five years of hormone therapy. The cancer is hormone receptor-positive You're considering whether to stop or continue hormone therapy. The doctor feels that the information from the BCI test could help you make an informed decision about your treatment. Research has shown that the Breast Cancer Index test is more accurate than standard prognostic tests in predicting the risk of cancer recurrence. In one study, the BCI test correctly identified 79 percent of women with a low risk of cancer recurrence and 81 percent with a high risk of cancer recurrence. How Does the Breast Cancer Index Test Work? BCI Index test is a genomic test. It looks at the activity of specific genes in your tumor. Genes are the instructions in our cells that tell our bodies how to develop and work. We inherit our genes from our parents. Genomic tests predict a person's risk of developing a medical condition. For example, a person with a family history of breast cancer may have a genetic test to determine if they are at risk for developing it. A genomic test is performed by extracting DNA from a person and looking for specific changes in the person's genes. How Is the Breast Cancer Index Test Performed? A healthcare provider will collect a small sample of blood from the patient. No special preparation is required. They send the blood to a laboratory to analyze and check for the presence of specific proteins in the breast tissue used to predict the risk of developing breast cancer. The higher the levels of these proteins, the higher the risk of developing breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Index test results score on a scale of 0 to 1. A score of 0.5 or lower indicates a low risk of cancer returning. In contrast, a score of 0.51 or higher indicates a high risk of your cancer returning. What Do the Results of the Breast Cancer Index Test Mean? Suppose your test results show a high risk of your cancer returning. In that case, it may mean that you could benefit from continuing hormone therapy. If your results show a low risk of your cancer returning, it may mean that you could safely stop taking hormone therapy. Your doctor can help you interpret your results and make an informed decision about your treatment. Breast Cancer Index Test Cost. The cost of a breast cancer index test will vary depending on several factors, including: The type of BCI test that's performed The geographic location of the testing center Type of insurance coverage you have Without insurance, the price of the breast cancer index test can range from $3,000 to $6,000. Does insurance cover the Breast Cancer Index test? The BCI test is a type of molecular diagnostic test. Genomic tests can be expensive, and not all insurance companies cover them. Molecular diagnostic tests are not yet widely used in cancer care, so some insurance companies may not cover the cost of the test. In most cases, insurance companies cover the BCI test. However, depending on your insurance coverage, you may be responsible for a portion of the BCI test cost. Talk to your doctor about your insurance coverage and any out-of-pocket costs you may be responsible for before you have the test. Also, check with your insurance company to find out if they can cover your costs. Ask your doctor about financial assistance options if your insurance doesn't cover the test cost or you don't have insurance. You may be able to get coverage for the test if you have a "medical necessity" clause in your insurance policy. This clause allows your doctor to request coverage for a test or treatment that your insurance company does not usually cover. Talk to your doctor about your insurance coverage and any out-of-pocket costs you may be responsible for before you have the test. Take Away The Breast Cancer Index Test is a new tool that may help to predict a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. The test is still in the early stages of development, but it shows promise as a way to help women and their doctors make informed decisions about breast cancer risk and treatment options. It is important to remember that this test is not a diagnostic tool, but rather a tool to help assess the risk of developing breast cancer.