Mammogram Alternative Would Be Radiation-Free, Less Uncomfortable

Mammogram Alternative Would Be Radiation-Free, Less Uncomfortable
Researchers are working to develop a new breast-friendly, radiation-free method that may replace the unpleasant mammogram currently used to detect breast cancer. The new method, described in the study "Towards Dynamic Contrast Specific Ultrasound Tomography," and published in Scientific Reports, uses ultrasounds to provide 3-D images of the breast, and is meant to reduce not only a woman's discomfort during the procedure, but also the number of false-positive results seen frequently with current mammogram methods. Currently, women are screened for breast cancer through a mammogram, where the breast is squeezed tight between two plates to generate 2D X-ray images. The method is not only physically unpleasant and one of the reasons women choose to skip screening, it also comes with the risk that the radiation used in the mammograms can contribute to the development of cancer. In addition, mammograms generate large numbers of false-positive results. In more than two-thirds of cases where doctors find an abnormal tissue that is recommended for biopsy, it turns out that the abnormal regions are not cancer. In the meantime, women are subjected to high levels of unnecessary worrisome stress. Researchers have been trying to develop alternatives to this method that provide more accurate results and that reduce women's discomfort. Recently, a team at Eindhoven University of Technology has been working on a possible alternative for mammograms. According to a p
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