Use of ultrasound in detecting breast cancer has been shown to be comparable in its sensitivity to that of mammography and should be considered when testing for the disease, according to a new study.
"Where mammography is available, ultrasound should be seen as a supplemental test for women with dense breasts who do not meet high-risk criteria for screening MRI and for high-risk women with dense breasts who are unable to tolerate MRI," said one of the researchers Wendie Berg Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh,US.
While mammography is an effective method in detecting breast cancer in developed countries, it is not commonly available in less developed nations, and alternative methods, such as ultrasound, need to be tested. To determine the effectiveness of using ultrasound to detect breast cancer, researchers recruited 2,809 women across 20 different sites in the US, Canada, and Argentina.
Of the participants, 2,662 completed three annual breast screenings by ultrasound and film-screen or digital mammography, and then had a biopsy or a 12-month follow-up. The researchers found that the number of ultrasound screens to detect breast cancer was comparable to that of mammography.
The study was published in the JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute.