Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013 Sep;141(2):187-95. doi: 10.1007/s10549-013-2674-z. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

No evidence for shedding of circulating tumor cells to the peripheral venous blood as a result of mammographic breast compression.

Author information

  • 1Medical Radiation Physics, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital Malmö, 205 02, Malmö, Sweden,


This pilot study aimed to investigate whether mammographic compression procedures might cause shedding of tumor cells into the circulatory system as reflected by circulating tumor cell (CTC) count in peripheral venous blood samples. From March to October 2012, 24 subjects with strong suspicion of breast malignancy were included in the study. Peripheral blood samples were acquired before and after mammography. Enumeration of CTCs in the blood samples was performed using the CellSearch(®) system. The pressure distribution over the tumor-containing breast was measured using thin pressure sensors. The median age was 66.5 years (range, 51-87 years). In 22 of the 24 subjects, breast cancer was subsequently confirmed. The difference between the average mean tumor pressure 6.8 ± 5.3 kPa (range, 1.0-22.5 kPa) and the average mean breast pressure 3.4 ± 1.6 kPa (range, 1.5-7.1 kPa) was statistically significant (p < 0.001), confirming that there was increased pressure over the tumor. The median pathological tumor size was 19 mm (range, 9-30 mm). Four subjects (17 %) were CTC positive before compression and two of these (8 %) were also CTC positive after compression. A total of seven CTCs were isolated with a mean size of 8 × 6 μm(2) (range of the longest diameter, 5-12 μm). The study supports the view that mammography is a safe procedure from the point of view of tumor cell shedding to the peripheral blood.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk