New diagnostic techniques for breast cancer detection

Vineeta Singh, Christobel Saunders, Liz Wylie, A. Bourke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Breast imaging has made huge advances in the last decade, and along with newer techniques to diagnose primary breast cancer, many novel methods are being used and look promising in detecting distant metastasis, recurrent disease and assessing response to treatment. Full-field digital mammography optimizes the lesion-background contrast and gives better sensitivity, and it is possible to see through the dense tissues by altering computer windows; this may be particularly useful in younger women with dense breasts. The need for repeat imaging is reduced, with the added advantage of reduced radiation dose to patients. Computer-aided detection systems may help the radiologist in interpretation of both conventional and digital mammograms. MRI has a role in screening women at high risk for breast cancer. It also aids in cancer management by assessing response to treatment and can help in deciding appropriate surgery by providing accurate information on the extent of the tumor. Newer diagnostic techniques such as sestamibi scans, optical imaging and molecular diagnostic techniques look promising, but need more investigation into their use. Their roles will appear clearer in coming years, and they may prove to be of help in further investigating lesions that are indeterminate on standard imaging. Other upcoming techniques are contrast-enhanced mammography and tomosynthesis. These may give additional information in indeterminate lesions, and when used in screening they aid in reducing recall rates, as shown in recent studies. PET/computed tomography has a role in detecting local disease recurrence and distant metastasis in breast cancer patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-513
JournalFuture Oncology
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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