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

sented with a palpable lump hadn't changed much since 1990," Dr. Degnim said. "We found that 43 percent of breast cancers at Mayo Clinic Rochester in 2000 had a palpable presentation and most of the women had undergone some prior screening mammograms, but not always at the recommended annual interval."

Researchers also looked at the impact of the recent recommendations of the USPSTF to omit screening mammograms in women ages 40-49 in their study group. A total of 115 women were in the 40 to 49 age group in this study, with 67 breast cancers identified by the patients or their doctors and 48 found by mammography. Without mammography in this age group, at least 48 of the 115 cancers would have been missed, and many more would likely have been missed if both clinical breast examination and breast self-examination were also omitted.

"Screening mammograms play an important role in the detection of breast cancer at an earlier stage. We know that mammography does not pick up every breast cancer, however we were surprised at how often breast cancer was detected by a palpable mass," said Judy Boughey, MD, FACS, assistant professor of surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, and a co-investigator of the study. "Presentation as a palpable mass was more frequent in those women who had not had a mammogram in the prior 12 months. This finding is even more concerning when you consider the recent recommendations for decreasing the use of mammography because it would result in an even greater proportion of breast cancers being detected by palpation and therefore at more advanced stages."

Using an institutional surgical breast cancer database from the Mayo Clinic Rochester, the researchers evaluated 592 women who underwent breast surgery for cancer in the year 2000. Medical records were reviewed to identify the method of detection and dates of prior mammography screening. Patients whose cancer was detected by mammogram were compared with those whose tumors were
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Contact: Sally Garneski
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5409
Weber Shandwick Worldwide
Source:Eurekalert

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