MRI and mammography diagnoses breast cancer at earlier stages

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Washington, Dec 11 (ANI): Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) together with mammography can diagnose almost all cancers early, greatly reducing the occurrence of advanced stage breast cancer in high-risk women, a new study has found.

Ellen Warner, medical oncologist in the Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, in Toronto, Canada and his team divided 1,275 high-risk women into two groups: One group was screened with MRI coupled with mammography, and the other, control group, was given conventional mammography only.

Researchers tracked the women over years and found that 41 cases of breast cancer were detected in the MRI group, while 76 cases were diagnosed in the control group.

Women having undergone MRI and mammography had more early cancers and less advanced cancers than those, which had just been screened by a mammogram.

Also, the cancer size was smaller in the MRI group.

Warner said: "Earlier stage breast cancers are more likely to be curable.

"We can be fairly confident that if screening with MRI finds cancers at a much earlier stage, it probably also saves lives."

She added: "These results will hopefully convince high-risk women and their health care providers that breast screening with yearly MRI and mammography is a reasonable alternative to surgical removal of their breasts, which is commonly done to prevent breast cancer."

Warner presented her study at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. (ANI)

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