Dense Breasts & "Mammogram Plus"
Adding ultrasound and MRI testing to the annual mammography for women with dense breasts who are at high risk for breast cancer raises the rate of early detection, a recent study suggests. On the downside, however, the number of false positives also increases.
According to MedPge Today, Wendie A. Berg, MD, PhD of Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh and colleagues reported their findings in the April 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. "The cancer detection benefit from supplemental screening ultrasound seen on the first screening persisted with each annual screening," they noted.
They also said, however, that "the addition of screening MRI rather than ultrasound to mammography in broader populations of women at intermediate risk with dense breasts may not be appropriate, particularly when the current high false-positive rates, cost, and reduced tolerability of MRI are considered." The study's authors also pointed out that false positives were a problem with ultrasound.