“These findings indicate that ultrasound follow-up can spare women from unnecessary, invasive biopsies,” said Oswald Graf, M.D., from the Department of Radiology, Ambulatory Care Center in Steyr, Austria.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that 212,920 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year. Early detection through screening is the best way to combat cancer at its early, most treatable stage. While mammography is the standard breast cancer screening exam, the sensitivity of mammography for identifying breast cancer decreases in women with dense breast tissue. Some studies have shown that ultrasound may provide useful information in detecting cancer in women with dense breasts. However, screening with ultrasound also identifies a large number of breast lesions that are suspicious but may or may not be cancerous. Often, these masses are recommended for biopsy. ACS reports that 80 percent of breast lesions biopsied are found to be benign.
According to recently introduced Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) guidelines for ultrasound, a solid mass with circumscribed (confined) margins, oval shape and parallel orientation can be classified as probably benign (category 3). Dr. Graf’s study is the first to report outcomes from ultrasound follow-up of masses that were classified as probably benign at initial ultrasound.
“Our study shows that following a lesion classified in the BI-RADS lexicon as category 3 is a safe alternative to immediate biopsy,” Dr. Graf said. “But it is essential that lesions strictly meet these criteria.”
The researchers retrospectively studied 409 women with 448 nonpalpable masses that were partially or completely obscured at mammography by dense breast tissue and were classified as probably benign at ultrasound. After initial imaging with mammography and ultrasound, follow-up was performed in 445 masses. The other three masses were biopsied and shown to be benign.
At follow-up every six months over two to five years, 442 of the 445 masses remained stable. Two masses increased but were found benign at biopsy, and one mass became palpable, and cancer was diagnosed at biopsy. The findings indicate an overall negative predictive value of 99.8 percent. In other words, only one in 445 masses (0.2 percent) developed into cancer. The results indicate that routine follow-up with ultrasound is a safe alternative to biopsy in cases where the breast lesion is classified as probably benign.
“More studies are needed to define the role of ultrasound in breast cancer screening,” Dr. Graf said. “However, these findings suggest that the negative effects of incidental findings may be limited principally to patient anxiety and the cost of follow-up imaging, as opposed to conducting a large number of benign biopsies.”
Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis
23.01.2017 | Massachusetts General Hospital
Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy