(HealthDay News) — For young women aged 40 to 49 years, the addition of ultrasonography to mammography increases sensitivity and the detection rate of early breast cancers, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in The Lancet.
Noriaki Ohuchi, Ph.D., from Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, and colleagues examined the efficacy of adjuvant ultrasonography in asymptomatic women aged 40 to 49 years enrolled at 42 study sites in Japan. Participants with no history of any cancer in the previous five years were randomized to mammography and ultrasound (36,859 women) or mammography alone (36,139 women) twice in two years.
The researchers found that, compared with the control group, the intervention group had significantly higher sensitivity (91.1 versus 77.0 percent; P = 0.0004) and lower specificity (87.7 versus 91.4 percent; P < 0.0001). Compared with the control group, more cancers were detected in the intervention group (0.50 versus 0.32 percent; P = 0.0003) and they were more often stage 0 and I (71.3 versus 52.0 percent; P = 0.0194). Compared with the control group, fewer interval cancers were detected in the intervention group (0.05 versus 0.1 percent; P = 0.034).
“Adjunctive ultrasonography increases sensitivity and detection rate of early cancers,” the authors write.