Study: MRI Scans Could Improve Detection Methods for Breast Cancer
Research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is 90 percent detected 90 percent of all forms of breast cancer. This compared to the standard methods of mammography combined with ultrasound, which yield a detection rate of only 37.5 percent.
The study included 1,365 screenings on 559 women considered to have a high risk of developing breast cancer. MRI detected 90 percent of the breast cancers while ultrasound alone detected none and MRI combined with mammography raised the detection rate to 95 percent.
Researchers are now saying that a yearly MRI scan in place of mammograms could be a better path for women at a high risk of breast cancer development. MRI scans are far less painful and inconvenient and may reduce the occurrence of false positive test results.
An estimated 232,670 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2014, making up 14 percent of all new cancer cases in the U.S. according to the SEER surveillance system. It estimated that breast cancer accounted for 40,000 deaths in 2014 or approximately 6.8 percent of all cancer deaths that year.
Putting to use more early detection methods and developing new treatments may help improve breast cancer prognosis. The death rate has dropped steadily since 1975 and in 2010 approximately 89.2 percent of all breast cancer patients survived at least 5 years following their treatment, according to SEER data.
Breast cancer is one of many types of cancers that can result in an inability to continue working and earning a substantial income.