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3-D Doppler Ultrasound Helps ID Breast Cancers

Method detects masses with higher blood flow speeds, likely indicating disease, study says

TUESDAY, Oct. 21, 2008 (HealthDay News) -- Radiologists can now better distinguish malignant and benign breast masses by using three-dimensional power Doppler ultrasound, a new report says.

Blood flow through malignant breast masses is often higher compared with normal tissue or benign masses. The Doppler ultrasound allows radiologists to detect vessels with higher flow speeds, which likely indicate cancer.

The study will be published in the November issue of Radiology.

"Using 3-D scans promises greater accuracy due to more consistent sampling over the entire tumor," lead author Gerald L. LeCarpentier, an assistant professor in the department of radiology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said in a news release from the Radiological Society of North America. "Our study shows that 3-D power Doppler ultrasound may be useful in the evaluation of some breast masses."

The study showed 3-D Doppler ultrasound to be highly accurate in identifying malignant breast tumors in examinations done on 78 women, aged 26 to 70, who then had a biopsy on a suspicious breast mass. Combined with age-based assessment and grayscale visual analysis, 3-D Doppler was 100 percent accurate in identifying cancerous tumors and had a specificity of 86 percent in excluding benign tumors.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about breast cancer.

SOURCE: Radiological Society of North America, news release, Oct. 20, 2008
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