New study indicates all positive mammography results may not be dangerous
Older women have a much higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, but these tumors are not always necessarily aggressive or dangerous.
Older women have a much higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, but these tumors are not always necessarily aggressive or dangerous. A new study may provide a basis for helping doctors understand if women who have received positive mammograms require a prescription to buy Tamoxifen or if more conservative approaches are sufficient.
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed breast cancer tumor cells from five years ago and from 20 years ago. The results showed that breast cancer tends to be caught at a less invasive stage today than it was in previous generations.
The team said this shows that doctors should not necessarily order a biopsy or other serious treatments for all women who receive positive mammogram results, as this test appears to catch many benign growths. Instead, physicians should conduct other forms of molecular testing to measure the seriousness of a tumor.
"A significant number of screen-detected tumors are very low risk,’’ said lead researcher Laura Esserman. “It shows that we have an opportunity to improve care by using molecular predictors to recognize who has these ultra-low-risk or idle tumors, and safely minimize treatment."