MRIs Beat Mammograms at Spotting Earliest Breast Cancer

Researchers urge switch to save lives
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 10, 2007 10:07 AM CDT
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – MRIs significantly outperform mammograms in detecting pockets of abnormal cells that can lead to full-blown breast cancer, and the costly scans should be used routinely to save more women's lives, researchers say. A new study out today says MRIs detected 92% of the early lesions, called ductal carcinoma in situ, while mammograms found only 57%, the Guardian reports.

If all such lesions could be detected "you would prevent virtually all cases of breast cancer," said the lead researcher. But other specialists say results were skewed because study participants were high-risk women with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. They also caution that MRIs would overdiagnose a condition that doesn't lead to breast cancer in an estimated 75% of cases.