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Annual screening with breast ultrasound or MRI could benefit some women
Date:12/2/2009

women who are at some increased risk because of personal history of breast cancer, family history of breast cancer and/or dense breast tissue," she added. "For many of these women, MRI is not currently justified, but annual ultrasound would be appropriate in addition to mammography."

The researchers studied 612 women, mean age 55 years, at elevated risk of breast cancer enrolled at 14 sites in the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) 6666 trial funded by the Avon Foundation and the National Cancer Institute. Women underwent baseline screening mammography and ultrasound with follow-up exams at 12 and 24 months and then a single, contrast-enhanced MRI at 24 months.

Sixteen women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Twelve of the cancers were invasive, and four were ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Over the course of the study, 50 to 56 percent of cancers were shown on mammography. Adding ultrasound allowed detection of 70 to 94 percent of cancers. Adding MRI allowed for detection of additional cancers at their earliest stage.

The study also found that supplemental screening with ultrasound or MRI significantly increased the risk of false-positive findings, leading to unnecessary biopsies in some women.

"It is important that women are advised of the increased potential of undergoing an unnecessary biopsy as a result of screening with ultrasound or MRI," Dr. Berg said, "but we hope this study motivates women and their doctors to learn more about their risk factors and to consider supplemental screening in addition to mammography where indicated."


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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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