The largest analysis to date comparing ultrasound and mammography to evaluate women ages 30 to 39 with symptoms of possible breast cancer concludes that ultrasound is a superior diagnostic tool and that U.S. clinical practice guidelines, which currently recommend mammography as the first evaluation in these women, should be reconsidered.
Researchers at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Univ. of Washington found that ultrasound has a far higher sensitivity for cancer detection than mammography. In the 1,208 cases examined, sensitivity for ultrasound was 95.7 percent compared to 60.9 percent for mammography. Ultrasound exams found 22 cancers versus 14 by mammography. For this study, researchers identified all women 30 to 39 years old who presented for diagnostic breast imaging evaluation at SCCA between January 2002 and August 2006. Researchers identified the 1,208 cases in 954 patients.
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