A Combination of Tests Increase Breast Cancer Detection Rates

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Breast cancer detection, prevention and treatment go hand in hand. Image by alwyck

When Decoded Science asked Dr. Berg if she had any final thoughts, Dr. Berg stated:

More than half of women who die from breast cancer never had a mammogram or did not have regular mammograms.  Mammography is not perfect, but it is the only test proven to reduce deaths due to breast cancer.  We now have options to add to mammography where appropriate.  This is an important time for women.  As we introduce new technologies for screening, we must continue to monitor outcomes and assure that we are doing more good than harm.  A national database for all women diagnosed with breast cancer, tracking how it was detected, their screening history, stage, grade, and molecular markers on their cancer, as well as long-term outcomes, would go a long way toward informing these discussions ten to twenty years from now.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to have contributed to this important topic through the support of the Avon Foundation, National Cancer Institute, American College of Radiology Imaging Network, and especially the 2809 women who participated in this study.”

As Dr. Berg’s study shows, the use of a combination of ultrasounds, MRI scans, and mammograms can help increase the detection of  breast cancer in women. Determining  which test is best should be based upon individual factors, such as family history, breast tissue, and the patient’s comfort level.

Resources:

American Cancer Society. What are the key statistics about breast cancer? (2012). Accessed on April 3, 2012.

Berg, W., Zhang, Z., Lehrer, D., et. al. Detection of Breast Cancer With Additional of Annual Screening Ultrasound or a Single MRI to Mammography in Women with Elevated Breast Cancer Risk. (2012). Journal of the American Medical Association Vol 307, No 13. Accessed April 3, 2012.

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