NONINVASIVE DIAGNOSTIC TESTS MAY MISS BREAST CANCER
Noninvasive tests for breast cancer may not detect cancers in some women and are not accurate enough to routinely replace biopsies for women who receive abnormal findings from mammograms, says a recent study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a division of the HHS.
Magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasonography, positron emission tomography scanning, and scintimammography, miss about 4 to 9 percent of cases of cancer, compared with immediate biopsy for women at high-enough risk to warrant evaluation for breast cancer, according to the report, "Effectiveness of Noninvasive Diagnostic Tests for Breast Abnormalities."
Mammography and physical examination are both used to detect the possibility of breast cancer. A woman receiving abnormal results from a mammogram or physical examination needs further confirmation to determine whether cancer is present. Currently, confirmation is recommended through a tissue biopsy, either by surgical excision or needle sampling.
The report is available at www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov (http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov).
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