A latest research has come as add on to the proof that ultrasonography can be helpful in diagnosing cancer in women, having dense breasts. Data from 2,809 women from throughout the US, Canada and Argentina were examined.
All the examined women had dense breasts, and also at least one other breast cancer risk factor. According to a report published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, each woman went through 3 screenings in the time period of 3 years with mammography and ultrasonography. They found 111 breast cancers overall, and 80% were invasive.
Same number of cancers was identified in both the tests with 129 women requiring an ultrasound or 127 women in need of a mammography for detection of one cancer by doctors.
Mammography picked up cancers in a better way, using so-called calcifications, like are characteristic of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). DCIS is the most common non-invasive type of breast cancer. DCIS could spread and become invasive cancer, but isn’t life-threatening itself. Some researchers even argue that whether one should call it ‘cancer’ at all or not.
Lead author Dr. Wendie Berg, of Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said ultrasound was better at detection of invasive cancers and the ones without calcifications.
Berg said, “It’s likely the cancers we find on ultrasound will make a bigger difference than those we find in mammography”. But, more false alarms or false positives were produced by ultrasound.