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Palpable breast cancers are more common in women not undergoing annual mammography
Date:3/15/2010

CHICAGO (March 15, 2010) New research findings published in the March issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons indicate that some breast cancers continue to be detected as a palpable lump rather than being found through mammographic screening. Patients who presented with palpable tumors those detected as a result of breast complaint or during examination had larger tumors and were at a more advanced stage at diagnosis. The women who underwent yearly mammographic screening had the lowest rate of palpable presentation, in keeping with the reported benefit of mammography for early detection. Additionally, the data suggested that clinical breast examination (CBE) and breast self-examination should continue to play a role in detecting breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the United States. The new breast cancer screening recommendations published in November 2009 by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) have been controversial because they now recommend against routine mammography screening for most women aged 40 to 49 years old. Additionally, the USPSTF concluded that current evidence is insufficient to assess the additional benefits and harms of CBE, beyond screening mammography in women 40 years or older, and recommended against teaching breast self-examination.

According to study investigator Amy C. Degnim, MD, FACS, associate professor of surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, a study by the Commission on Cancer in the 1990s showed that the percentage of breast cancer patients presenting with palpable masses decreased from 70 percent in 1983 to 44 percent in 1990. This decrease was most likely due to the increasing use of screening mammography, which aims to detect breast cancers before they are palpable. Little data has been published on the subject since 1990.

"We were a little surprised to find that the percentage of women with breast cancer who pre
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Contact: Sally Garneski
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5409
Weber Shandwick Worldwide
Source:Eurekalert

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