An annual mammogram might not be the most efficient way to detect breast cancer. Instead, new research found that a bi-annual MRI might be the best method of detecting breast cancer in young women with a genetic risk and predisposition. The research was conducted by experts from the University of Washington and the University of Chicago Medicine.
Detecting Breast Cancer Made Easier by MRIs?
The study results were presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Its team of researchers mentioned that their analysis could help doctors detect breast cancer in women with high risk without using invasive methods. This research was conducted to evaluate the quality of life for women who undergo intensive surveillance.
The experts recruited 305 women for in between 2004 and 2016 for a clinical trial. All of the volunteers had a breast cancer risk higher than 20%. More than half of these women had BRCA1, CDH1 or BRCA2 mutations. After these women were evaluated by a physician, they were scheduled to undergo a digital mammogram every 12 months and an MRI every six months.
During this study, 2,111 MRI and 1,223 mammograms and were conducted. The researchers found only cancers smaller than a centimeter, 17 in total. Out of them, 13 were breast cancers and 4 ductal carcinomas in situ. 15 of these involved pathogenic mutations. After conducting the tests and observing the results, the scientists noted that an MRI every six months might be a useful and less invasive way of detecting breast cancer.
The researchers mentioned that it is essential to use an MRI test to detect breast cancer in women who present a genetic risk. In general, these need a different type of surveillance compared to women without a genetic risk.
Currently, the American Cancer Society recommends an annual mammogram as well as an MRI for all women who are at risk. These tests should be performed starting at the age of 30.
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