Ductal lavage is not an effective method for detecting breast cancer, according to a new study in the October 20 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Ductal lavage--a method used to collect cells from the milk ducts of the breast--has been proposed as a screening tool for cancer detection because ducts that yield fluid were thought to be more likely to contain cancer cells. Interest in the procedure was spurred by a study in which ductal lavage detected cancer in four of 11 women who had shown no previous evidence of a malignancy.
To determine the sensitivity and specificity of ductal lavage in the presence of known breast cancer, Seema A. Khan, M.D., of the Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Center and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and colleagues conducted a pilot study in which ductal lavage was performed prior to mastectomy on 44 breasts from 32 women with known cancer and on eight breasts from seven women undergoing prophylactic mastectomy.
Sarah L. Zielinski | EurekAlert!
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