Here’s another advance in the detection of breast cancer. It’s called elastography, a new screening technique used in conjunction with ultrasound that could reduce the need for breast biopsies.
New research finds that this tool, which analyzes breast tumours, increases diagnostic accuracy over ultrasound alone. While ultrasound can help differentiate between benign and malignant tumours, it’s not that specific, and it frequently leads to more invasive procedures like biopsies.
Elastography provides a compressed view of a lesion, and can more effectively show the shape of the tumour and the surrounding tissues.
In a study presented to a meeting of Radiological Society of North America, 179 patients with breast lumps underwent ultrasounds in conjunction with elastography as well as biopsies.
Using elastography, the scientists identified 98 per cent of the malignant lesions and 82 per cent of those deemed benign.
Researchers see this technique as a way to eliminate needle biopsies for growths that are probably benign. And it may also eventually help alleviate the anxiety of women being screened for breast cancer by giving them definitive results sooner.