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Study: ultrasounds could increase early breast cancer detection
Ultrasounds could provide a viable alternative to mammograms when it comes to detecting breast cancer in its early stages.
This is according to research by the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine in the US, which suggested that this could be a particularly significant finding for countries where women find it difficult to access mammograms.
Mammograms can be expensive, and the World Health Organization recommends they are used by countries that have the right health infrastructure and the funds to implement a long-term screening programme.
The University of Pittsburgh project saw a team of experts analyse data from a separate women's health study sponsored by the Avon Foundation for Women and National Cancer Institute, which found that annual mammograms could be complemented by magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasounds to increase breast cancer detection rates.
Led by Dr Wendie Berg, the researchers looked at the findings with a view to using ultrasound as the main screening procedure, and discovered that it can be better than mammograms in identifying early invasive breast cancer.
"Ultrasound screening could be a viable option, particularly in countries where ultrasound is readily available but access to mammography is limited," Dr Berg explained.
Posted by Paul Robertson