A multi-center study concludes that women with a recent diagnosis of cancer in one breast should have MRI screening of the opposite breast.//
This study was conducted by the Chapel Hill researchers at University of North Carolina.
The international research team found that MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, detected cancer in the opposite breast in 30 of 969 women (3.1 percent) who had recently been diagnosed with cancer in one breast only. The cancers in the opposite breast were missed by previous mammography and clinical exam.
The authors recommend MRI screening for women at high risk for breast cancer – those who already have the disease, have been recently diagnosed or have a family history of breast cancer. The results appear in the March 29, 2007, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.
"This study is pretty definitive evidence that the opposite breast needs to be evaluated with MRI," said study co-author Dr. Etta Pisano, a principal investigator and Kenan professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at the UNC School of Medicine. "But no one is recommending that we give up mammography. MRI screening is a very expensive tool that should be used judiciously for high risk populations. The last thing we would want is for every woman to think she should get an MRI," Pisano said.
In addition, MRI does not detect calcifications, one of the earliest signs of breast cancer. Mammography is the only way to detect calcifications.
The study was conducted by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) at 25 test sites in the U.S. and Canada. The National Cancer Institute funded the research.
Despite negative clinical breast exams and mammography of the opposite breast, up to ten percent of women are later diagnosed with cancer in the opposite breast after having begun treatment for breast cancer, the study said. This means patients must undergo two rounds of cancer therapyPage: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
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