MRI Detects Contralateral Breast Tumours Missed by Conventional Screening Methods

JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- March 9, 2010 -- Scanning for contralateral breast cancer using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) increases cancer detection rates among postmenopausal women, including those over 70 years old, with newly diagnosed breast cancer. The same findings were not confirmed in premenopausal women with newly diagnosed breast cancer.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, found that 3.8% of 425 women had breast cancer in the undiagnosed breast that had not been detected with a clinical or mammographic examination; all were postmenopausal. In these women, detecting and treating cancer in both breasts at the same time may save costs, patient stress, and the potential toxicity that may come from having to treat cancer later in the second breast once it is discovered, the researchers say in the March/April issue of The Breast Journal.

Of particular interest to the researchers is their finding that patients aged >= 70 years had a higher prevalence of cancer in the second breast detected by MRI than did younger patients in the study. MRI detected a cancer in the second breast in 5.4% of 129 elderly women included in the study.

source: Doctors Guide

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