• Radiologic Technology News

Adjunct Approach Better for Dense Breasts

Mar 14, 2016

In women with dense breast tissue, an adjunct screening approach that combines either tomosynthesis or ultrasound scans in addition to standard mammographic procedures is showing promising outcomes. According to interim results published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the adjunct technique was shown to detect breast cancers that would have otherwise been missed.

The additional scans in the study picked up an extra 24 breast cancers: 12 were detected by both tomosynthesis and ultrasound, one was detected only by tomosynthesis and 11 only by ultrasound.

“These findings will have immediate implications for both screening practice and for guiding new research in dense breasts," said study author Nehmat Houssami, professor of public health at the University of Sydney, Australia, in a news release. "These results mean that tomosynthesis detected an additional four breast cancers per 1,000 women screened and ultrasound detected an additional seven breast cancers per 1,000."

The trial involved more than 3,000 asymptomatic women with dense breast tissue and negative mammogram results at five imaging centers in Italy. The participants’ ultrasound and tomosynthesis scans were then interpreted by different radiologists who knew only that the standard mammogram was negative, but who did not know the result of the other, additional test.

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