About 1.6 million breast biopsies a year are performed in the United States. About 8 out of 10 breast biopsies are benign. In in 2010, only about 261,000 found cancer. 207,000 women had invasive breast cancer and another 54,000 had a condition called ductal carcinoma in situ, in which cancer cells have not invaded the surrounding tissue.
If your doctor tells you that your biopsy is positive it’s frightening but many forms of breast cancer are very treatable. Knowledge is power and you need to know as much as possible about your condition. But keep in mind not everthing you read on the Internet is accurate. Click on our “Resorce Library” tab for a few articles and links to web sites that we hope will be helpful to start you off in the right direction.
Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS) equals MRI as screening option for dense tissue.
Automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) is showing promise as a cost-effective screening tool compared to MRI for women who have dense breast tissue, according to a study published in the July 2012 Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
Automated breast sonography has been cleared for diagnostic use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an effective adjunct to mammography. But the technology is not yet specifically cleared for screening use in women with dense breasts — although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended that it be approved for this purpose in April.
Research has found comparable diagnostic reliability between the two modalities. “One of the significant limitations of screening mammography is breast density, which can obscure small masses,” wrote study authors Drs. Vincenzo Giuliano and Concetta Giuliano. “[ABUS] is an FDA-approved diagnostic imaging technology that is less affected by breast density. Multiple white paper studies … show significant improvement in breast cancer detection rates when automated breast sonography is performed in addition to a digital mammogram, as part of annual routine breast cancer screening, in women with increased breast density” (JDMS, July/August 2012, Vol. 28:4, pp. 159-165). The current study included 24 asymptomatic women with more than 50% breast density on digital mammography. Each woman received an automated breast sonography exam using the U-Systems SomoVu device equipped with a 10-MHz transducer. ABUS exams were then compared with a contrast breast MRI, which was performed within a week of the ABUS exams. All cancers that were found and classified as BI-RADS 4 or 5 were biopsied, the team wrote. The study identified 15 malignant tumors and nine benign pathologies.
The researchers noted that ABUS does offer practical advantages, including short examination times, simplicity of use, less technical training, less user variability, application for potential screening of large numbers of patients with dense breast. And it’s less invasive for patients.