Dr. Jochelson on the Limitations of Mammography and Ultrasound in Screening for Breast Cancer

Maxine S. Jochelson, MD
Published: Tuesday, Mar 31, 2020



Maxine S. Jochelson, MD, director of radiology, Breast and Imaging Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the limitations of mammography and ultrasound in screening patients for breast cancer.

Currently mammography is the standard imaging modality for women with breast cancer, says Jochelson. However, mammography has a sensitivity rate of 30% to 50% for women with dense breast tissue.

Ultrasound and mammography may be utilized for women with dense breast tissue who require additional screening, says Jochelson. However, studies have shown that even when both tools are implemented, some cancers are not identified.

As such, women with dense breast tissue or who are carriers of high-risk mutations are recommended to have yearly MRI and mammography screening. MRI appears to identify cancer earlier which may improve overall survival for patients, concludes Jochelson.
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Maxine S. Jochelson, MD, director of radiology, Breast and Imaging Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the limitations of mammography and ultrasound in screening patients for breast cancer.

Currently mammography is the standard imaging modality for women with breast cancer, says Jochelson. However, mammography has a sensitivity rate of 30% to 50% for women with dense breast tissue.

Ultrasound and mammography may be utilized for women with dense breast tissue who require additional screening, says Jochelson. However, studies have shown that even when both tools are implemented, some cancers are not identified.

As such, women with dense breast tissue or who are carriers of high-risk mutations are recommended to have yearly MRI and mammography screening. MRI appears to identify cancer earlier which may improve overall survival for patients, concludes Jochelson.



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