Study: New Way to Spot Breast Cancer Shows Promise

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

UNDATED (AP) - In a St. Joseph Health Scene report, Doctors say a radioactive tracer that "lights up" cancer hiding inside dense breasts is showing promise after its first big test.

In a comparison with mammograms, molecular breast imaging or MBI -- found 10 out of 13 tumors, missing three. Mammograms detected three out of 13 tumors, and missed 10. Using both methods, 11 out of 13 tumors would have been detected.

Mammograms gave false alarms in about nine percent of patients, compared to only seven percent for MBI. The MBI tests led to more biopsies than mammograms did, but they more often revealed cancer.

MBIs would not replace mammograms for women at average risk of the disease, but it might become an additional tool for higher risk women.

There's at least one drawback of MBI: It uses about 8 to 10 times the radiation of mammograms.

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