Mammography is currently the most widely used technique for breast cancer screening – but there may be better ways, according to new findings published in Elsevier’s influential publication, The American Journal of Medicine.
Jennifer S. Drukteinis, MD, lead author of “Beyond Mammography: New Frontiers in Breast Cancer Screening”, discusses the cons of mammography: reduced sensitivity for women with dense breasts, a high rate of false positives leading to excessive biopsies, and concerns about long-term effects of repeated radiation. New screening technology can help solve these problems, “Digital breast tomosynthesis is an imaging technique aimed at eliminating the pitfalls of overlapping breast tissue. It has the potential to lower recall rates on screening mammography and reduce false negative examinations due to dense breast tissue,” explains Dr. Druktenis.
Although new advances are presented, Dr. Druktenis says, “Given the heterogeneity of the human population, a ‘perfect’ imaging technology for breast cancer screening will likely never be found. In fact, because of this heterogeneity, the very concept of ‘one strategy fits all’ may be outmoded.”
Robert G. Stern, MD, author of “Breast Cancer Screening: The Paradigm Shifts (Finally)”, thinks it’s about time the medical community starts tailoring breast cancer screening to the individual woman. “The development of a personalized, individual patient-centered approach to breast cancer screening mirrors the evolution of similar strategies in other aspects of medicine,” Dr. Stern states.
“Beyond Mammography: New Frontiers in Breast Cancer Screening” and “Breast Cancer Screening: The Paradigm Shifts (Finally)” are both being published in the June 2013 issue of The American Journal of Medicine.