How Cancer Screening Led to a Diagnosis Before Symptoms

At 54 years old, Valerie felt healthy and prided herself on being active. In her hometown of Flagstaff, Ariz., she could often be found exploring the outdoors, playing with her granddaughter or spending time with friends. She took a proactive approach to her health, so when she read a book that discussed breakthroughs in precision medicine, she was curious, especially when it came to new approaches to cancer screening.

Currently, there are only five recommended cancer screenings in the United States, including mammograms and colonoscopies. While early detection has been proven to significantly improve cancer survival rates and reduce the cost and complexity of cancer treatment, most cancers don’t have recommended screenings and are detected too late. Cancers without widespread screening recommendations represent 71% of all cancer diagnoses and 70% of cancer deaths in the U.S. among individuals aged 50-79.

Knowing she had some family history of cancer, Valerie wanted to know more. She researched a multi-cancer early detection test called Galleri®, which screens for a signal shared by multiple types of cancers through a single blood draw. When a cancer signal is detected, the test can predict the tissue type or organ associated with the cancer signal with high accuracy and help guide diagnostic evaluation.

Advocating for Her Health

Although she felt healthy and didn’t have any symptoms, Valerie was determined to advocate for her own health. She spoke with a few healthcare providers and worked with a physician who ordered the Galleri test.

“I received a call that there was a signal detected. My doctor quickly ordered an MRI but said he didn’t see cancer. However, the radiologist told me he had never seen a gallbladder with so many stones and that it needed to come out,” recalled Valerie.

Valerie had a successful surgery to remove her gallbladder, but there was more to her story. The day after the surgery, the pathology report came back and showed there was a 4.5-centimeter tumor in her gallbladder.

“Finding out I did have cancer allowed me to take action. We moved forward with my care plan, and I started on chemotherapy for six months,” Valerie said. “I feel like this test was made for me. I appreciate it so much. I’m going to be able to live my life because we found my gallbladder cancer so soon.”

Knowledge Empowers

Valerie is grateful she pushed to take the Galleri test, because it helped her find her cancer early and make informed decisions that were right for her. She was empowered to advocate for her own health and is now encouraging others to take an active role in their health journeys.

Valerie knows firsthand that knowledge empowers, but there’s an element of bravery required to request the test and hear the results.

“It takes courage for people to take the Galleri test, especially the first time, because there’s many kinds of cancers you could have,” she said. “Is it better not to know, or is it better to know? For me, it was better to know. That’s how I can sit here with energy and continue my life right now.”

“I just want to get the word out to as many people as possible, because this is something that has made such a difference for myself and my family,” she continued.

Learn More

The Galleri test must be prescribed by a healthcare provider and should be used in addition to recommended cancer screenings such as mammography, colonoscopy, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and/or cervical cancer screening. It is intended for use in adults with an elevated risk for cancer, such as those aged 50 or older.

The Galleri test does not detect a signal for all cancers, and not all cancers can be detected in the blood. False positive and false negative results do occur.

Based on a clinical study of people ages 50 to 79, around 1% are expected to receive a Cancer Signal Detected result, which includes predicted Cancer Signal Origin(s). After diagnostic evaluation, around 40% of people are expected to have a confirmed cancer diagnosis. The overall sensitivity in Galleri study participants with gallbladder cancer was 70.6% (0% for Stage I, 33.3% for Stage II, 75.0% for Stage III and 100% for Stage IV).

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Important Safety Information

The Galleri test is recommended for use in adults with an elevated risk for cancer, such as those aged 50 or older. The Galleri test does not detect all cancers and should be used in addition to routine cancer screening tests recommended by a healthcare provider. Galleri is intended to detect cancer signals and predict where in the body the cancer signal is located. Use of Galleri is not recommended in individuals who are pregnant, 21 years old or younger, or undergoing active cancer treatment.

Results should be interpreted by a healthcare provider in the context of medical history, clinical signs and symptoms. A test result of “Cancer Signal Not Detected” does not rule out cancer. A test result of “Cancer Signal Detected” requires confirmatory diagnostic evaluation by medically established procedures (e.g., imaging) to confirm cancer.

If cancer is not confirmed with further testing, it could mean that cancer is not present or testing was insufficient to detect cancer, including due to the cancer being located in a different part of the body. False-positive (a cancer signal detected when cancer is not present) and false-negative (a cancer signal not detected when cancer is present) test results do occur. Rx only.

Laboratory/Test Information

GRAIL’s clinical laboratory is certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) and accredited by the College of American Pathologists. The Galleri test was developed, and its performance characteristics were determined by GRAIL. The Galleri test has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. GRAIL’s clinical laboratory is regulated under CLIA to perform high-complexity testing. The Galleri test is intended for clinical purposes.

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