|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News|Study Supports Using Low-Dose CT Scans to Spot Early Lung CancerComorbidities Up Other-Cause Death for Men With Prostate CARacial Disparities Seen in U.S. Lung Cancer TreatmentNewer, Pricier Prostate Cancer Radiation No Better Than Old: StudyHIV No Barrier to Getting Liver Transplant, Study FindsXofigo Approved for Prostate CancerTest Approved to Detect Faulty Lung Cancer GeneNew Drug May Help Immune System Fight CancerCancer Patients May Face Higher Bankruptcy OddsFDA Approves New Drug to Fight Advanced Prostate CancerMetformin Won't Aid Breast Cancer Survival in DiabeticsCreative Arts Therapies Up Mental Health for Cancer PatientsExperts Aim to Draw Attention to High Cancer Drug CostsCreative Arts May Help Cancer Patients CopeAgent Orange Tied to Lethal Prostate CancerScientists Discover More Genetic Clues to Testicular CancerSocializing May Ease Pain of Breast CancerGene Discovery May Offer Breakthrough for Rare LeukemiaRed Hair Pigment Might Raise Melanoma Risk: StudySkin Cancer Tx Mostly Surgical, Regardless of Life ExpectancyAATS: MnDCT Beats Chest X-Ray for Detecting Lung CancerProstate Cancer May Be Deadlier for the UninsuredSleep Woes Tied to Prostate Cancer Risk in StudyAUA: Incidence of Testicular Cancer Up Through 2009Study Links Timing of ER Visit to Prostate Cancer Survival OddsTesticular Cancer on Rise in U.S., Especially Among Hispanic MenUrologists' Group Issues Updated Guidelines on PSA TestAt-Home Drug Errors Common for Kids With Cancer, Research ShowsScientists Pinpoint Most Major Genes Behind Deadly Blood CancerImplants May Delay Breast Cancer Detection, Raise Death RiskComprehensive Analysis Supports SERMs for Cutting Breast CancerNovel System Proposed for Accountable Cancer CareWomen Smokers More Likely to Get Colon Cancer Than Men: StudyFor Some Seniors With Skin Cancer, Surgery Not Always Best ChoiceComprehensive Discussion With Docs Ups Cancer ScreeningHistory of Skin Cancer Linked to Secondary CancersIntegrated 2D, 3D Mammogram Improves Cancer DetectionSoaring Prices Keep Leukemia Drugs From Patients, Experts SayRace, Income Tied to Breast Cancer Treatment Delays, Reduced SurvivalObesity Tied to Risk of Prostate Cancer After Negative BiopsyNon-Melanoma Skin Cancers Tied to Risk for Other CancersObesity Linked to Prostate Cancer, Study FindsMammograms Can Measure How Breast Cancer Drug Is Working: StudyScientists Spot Cancer Metabolism ChangesMinorities Less Prone to Think They'll Get Cancer: StudyClinical Trials Helped One Woman's Fight Against CancerARRS: MASS Criteria, LDH Predict Survival in MelanomaScientists Create Breast Cancer Survival PredictorEndocrine Therapy Often Incomplete after Breast CancerEndometriosis Surgery Linked to Lower Ovarian Cancer RiskLinksBook Reviews
Some Screens Miss Spread of Breast Cancer: Study
by By Amanda Gardner
Updated: Sep 12th 2012
TUESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In a new study, three types of screening methods used to determine whether breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body only spotted a small portion of tumors that had done so.
This may mean that bone scans, liver ultrasounds and chest X-rays may not have a significant role to play in tracking the stage a breast cancer is at, particularly for tumors that are diagnosed earlier, the researchers added.
"Very low detection rates, particularly for stage I and II breast cancer, really question the utility of these three [techniques]," said study author Stuart-Allison Moffat Staley, a medical student at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.
Moffat Staley presented her findings Tuesday in San Francisco at the 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium, sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
Extravagant ordering of tests can also result in unnecessary biopsies and anxiety, sometimes resulting in more harm than good, added Dr. Andrew Seidman, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Both Moffat Staley and Seidman, who is also an ASCO official, spoke at a Tuesday news conference.
When it spreads, breast cancer often travels to the bone, liver and lung, hence the use of these particular scans to assess metastases, Moffat Staley explained. These three techniques are significantly less expensive than two other options that are available, CT scans and MRIs, he noted.
Of course, when used in thousands of breast cancer patients (some of whom undergo all three scans) the practice becomes costly, not only to the health care system but also to individual patients, she added.
In the research, Moffat Staley combined data from eight studies and found detection rates of only 0.51 percent, 0.82 percent, 2.43 percent for chest X-ray, liver ultrasound and bone scans, respectively.
Detection rates were higher for Stage III cancers: about 4.6 percent, 4.2 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively.
At some point, screening will be needed to make sure there's no metastases, as this will determine what kind of treatment a woman will get, noted Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She was not involved in the study.
Bone scans, liver ultrasounds and chest X-rays are not necessarily the tests of choice for many doctors. CT scans and PET scans are also often used, Bernik noted.
Moffat Staley stressed that more studies need to be done on this issue, specifically research that compares these three screenings against CT scans, MRIs and PET scans.
Research presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary because it hasn't undergone the scrutiny of studies published in peer-reviewed journals.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on breast cancer.
This article: Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.