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More Imaging Visits are Carried out for Breast Cancer Patients before Surgery

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Women's imaging news According to a recent study, more women are undergoing more imaging procedures, such as mammography and ultrasound, before surgical removal of breast tumors. The study showed that more imaging procedures are taking place than those carried out 20 years ago. In addition, more types of imaging are now included in single imaging appointments.

The study was conducted by a team from Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA.  Breast cancer patients usually undergo several imaging procedures, such as mammography and ultrasound, before removing the tumor. The scans coming from such imaging procedures help doctors in assessing the conditions of their patients.

During the study, Richard Bleicher, M.D., surgical oncologist at Fox Chase, and his team noted that the percent of patients going for more than 2 imaging visits nearly quadrupled between 1992 and 2005. Although Dr. Bleicher says that more visits may represent a burden to patients, a lot of them get relieved after evaluation and consultation with their doctors. Dr. Bleicher said "The burden to the patient is increasing substantially. The number of days patients are having mammograms, MRIs, and ultrasounds is going up steadily year by year. They're having imaging done more frequently on separate dates during the preoperative interval than ever before. It's surprising."

In addition, the research team noted that more imaging procedures were increasingly added to single imaging visits. In 1992, 4.3 % of breast tumor had more than one type of imaging in a single visit. This percent reached 27.1 % in 2005.


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