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 BIOPSY RISK

ANCHOR LEAD: DOES ULTRASOUND INCREASE UNNECESSARY BREAST CANCER BIOPSIES?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Using ultrasound in addition to mammography improves the detection rate of small breast cancers, a study from Johns Hopkins and other centers recently concluded.  But Wendie Berg, a radiologist and study author, says there is a down side.

BERG:  We see a lot of things that turn out not to be cancer, probably worse than with MRI or mammography.  In our study we found that if you just looked at the results from the mammogram, about 1 in 40 women had a biopsy that turned out not to be cancer.  If we look at the combination of mammography and ultrasound together, then one in ten women ended up with an unnecessary biopsy for something that was not cancer.  So that’s not a small number.  That’s a fairly substantial risk of having to have a biopsy.  :31

Berg says most women say they would still opt for the unnecessary biopsy when weighed against the chance of detecting breast cancer at an earlier and perhaps more curable stage.  I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.

 


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