How do ultrasound and mammography compare in breast cancer screening?
Full article: https://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/108/4/djv367.abstract
Mammography has been shown to reduce breast cancer deaths; however, women in developing countries don’t have easy access to mammography. Ultrasound screening, on the other hand, is portable and less expensive, and could be an alternative to mammography. This study compared mammography to ultrasound in women with dense breasts and found the two techniques have similar cancer detection rates, although the false positive rate is higher with ultrasound. (02/16/16)
There are laws and guidelines for screening in women with dense breasts. The laws on breast density notification vary by state. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has guidelines on breast screening. The panel notes that dense breasts are associated with an increased risk for breast cancer, and they recommend the following:
- Women with dense breasts on mammogram should be counseled on the risks and benefits of additional breast screening.
- Digital mammograms benefit young women and women with dense breasts.
- Tomosynthesis (3D mammograms) can increase cancer detection and lower the chances of additional call backs.
- Ultrasound may improve the detection of cancers in women with dense breasts but it can also increase the number of call backs and biopsies of benign (noncancerous) tissue.
Questions To Ask Your Health Care Provider
- I carry a mutation in a gene that increases cancer risk. How does this change the breast cancer screenings I should receive?
- I have dense breasts—can I get ultrasounds in addition to mammograms?
- Will my health insurance cover breast MRI? If they do not cover it, are there financial assistance programs?
- I have difficulty accessing mammograms. Can I get ultrasounds instead?
- I have a medical reason why I cannot have MRI, should I get ultrasounds?
Open Clinical Trials
The following are breast cancer screening or prevention studies enrolling people at high risk for breast cancer.
Additional risk-management clinical trials for people at high risk for breast cancer may be found here.
FORCE is a national nonprofit organization, established in 1999. Our mission is to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by adult hereditary cancers.