In the past few years there has been a surge in research in improving breast cancer screening. In particular, there has been a special interest in trying to improve detection of breast cancer in women with dense breasts. Studies have shown that performing breast ultrasound, MRI, or molecular breast imaging with a screening mammogram in women with dense breasts have detected more cancers. The drawback is that they also find many more benign masses, leading to more biopsies and false positives.
Breast density legislation is expected to pass in the state of Michigan which will require mammography facilities to inform women who have dense breasts. These women can then have a conversation with their physician about supplemental screening exams to have in addition to a mammogram. This is particularly true in women who have additional risk factors.
The easiest, least costly, and most available test without extra radiation is an ultrasound. Continue reading.