Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mammogram sensitivity depends on menstrual cycle

07.12.2010
Group Health study finds first week is best for some women

Seattle—Try to schedule your screening mammogram during the first week of your menstrual cycle. It might make breast cancer screening more accurate for pre-menopausal women who choose to have regular mammograms.

This recommendation comes from an article published online December 3 in Radiology by Diana Miglioretti, PhD, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute.

Dr. Miglioretti and her co-authors are working on an issue at the heart of recent controversies about breast cancer screening mammograms. In November 2009, new recommendations—including that women should discuss with their doctors whether to begin having regular screening mammograms at age 40 or wait till age 50—were issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of health care providers who generate medical guidelines based on clinical research.

Some facts related to the new recommendations prompted the study by Dr. Miglioretti and colleagues:

Mammography can detect cancer in women in their 40s.

But these women are at higher risk than are older women for a false-negative result (missing a cancer that is present) or a false-positive result (recalling a woman for further workup when cancer is not present).

False positives lead to unnecessary tests, including biopsies.

Women in their 40s tend to have dense breast tissue, making their mammograms hard to interpret. Dense breast tissue shows up as white on a mammogram and can obscure abnormal findings, which are also white.

Breast density varies slightly with menstrual cycle.

Dr. Miglioretti’s team asked whether mammography conducted at different times in the menstrual cycle, when breast density may be different, is more sensitive for finding breast cancers or more specific for ruling out cancer.

They examined 387,218 screening mammograms from premenopausal women. Of these, 1,283 were linked to an actual case of breast cancer. The data were from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, a network of research sites nationwide—including Group Health Research Institute, which has collected breast cancer screening data since 1994.

“Premenopausal women having regular screening mammography could benefit from scheduling their exams during the first week of their menstrual cycle,” says Miglioretti. She and her collaborators found that in the first week, when breast tissue may be less dense and not engorged, mammography was more sensitive at detecting cancer. Specificity, which is the ability to reliably recognize the absence of breast cancer, did not change with menstrual cycle.

Miglioretti notes, however, that the increased sensitivity was only for women with a screen in the past two years, who were assumed to be having regular screens, and not for women being screened for the first time. Miglioretti says this result was “surprising,” but offers some possible reasons. In general, when first screens find a tumor, it’s relatively large. Low breast density is more important for detecting small tumors, so the menstrual cycle influence might not have been seen for first screens. “Larger tumors may be easier to see later in the menstrual cycle, but this needs to be studied,” says Miglioretti. In addition, her findings do not apply to diagnostic mammography: mammography performed to work up a symptom such as a breast lump. If a woman finds a breast lump or has another breast concern, she should contact her doctor right away.

Dr. Miglioretti and her co-authors know that women can’t always predict their cycle, but say if they can, scheduling during the first week may have an additional advantage. Many women experience breast tenderness in the second half of their cycle, so avoiding this time could reduce mammography discomfort.

Current recommendations are that women aged 50-74 have a routine screening mammogram every other year. Women are encouraged to consult with their health care providers to find a mammography schedule that fits their family history and personal preferences.

Dr. Miglioretti’s co-authors were Rod Walker, MS, and Diana S.M. Buist, PhD, MPH, of Group Health Research Institute; Zhuo (Tracy) Zhang, MS, of the University of Washington Department of Biostatistics; Emily White, PhD, of the University of Washington Department of Epidemiology, who is also an affiliate investigator at Group Health Research Institute; Donald L. Weaver, MD, of the University of Vermont College of Medicine; Stephen H. Taplin, MD, MPH, of the Applied Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, in Bethesda, MD; Patricia A. Carney, PhD, of the Departments of Family Medicine and Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, in Portland, OR; Robert D. Rosenberg, MD, of the Department of Radiology, University of New Mexico, Health Sciences Center, in Albuquerque; Mark B. Dignan, PhD, MPH, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kentucky, in Lexington.

Funding was from the National Institutes of Health.

Group Health Research Institute
Founded in 1947, Group Health Cooperative is a Seattle-based, consumer-governed, nonprofit health care system. Group Health Research Institute (www.grouphealthresearch.org) changed its name from Group Health Center for Health Studies on September 8, 2009. Since 1983, the Institute has conducted nonproprietary public-interest research on preventing, diagnosing, and treating major health problems. Government and private research grants provide its main funding.

Joan DeClaire | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ghc.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

nachricht The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>