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New Test Takes Aim at Detecting Breast Cancer

Combination of sound and MRI could reduce biopsy need

THURSDAY, June 27, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Early detection is the key to surviving breast cancer, and the Mayo Clinic says it has developed a new weapon.

A study published in the June of the American Journal of Roentgenology reports that researchers successfully used the new technique, called magnetic resonance elastography, on 12 women. The Mayo Clinic says the new test "uses a combination of sound waves and MRI to evaluate the mechanical properties of tissues within the breast."

Because malignant tumors in the breast are more dense and stiffer than healthy tissue, the device is able to better spot tumors.

Researchers say that the test overcomes problems with other imaging devices, which too often indicate tumors exist in healthy women. They add that the new technique could decrease the need for biopsies.

More information

This page from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives a number of steps for early detection of breast cancer.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic news release, June 25, 2002
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