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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1983 May;140(5):843-5.

Breast cancer detection with sonography and mammography: comparison using state-of-the-art equipment.


This prospective study, involving 1,000 women referred for routine mammography, compares the breast cancer detecting abilities of state-of-the-art mammography and sonography using an automated water-path scanner. Mammography was found to be the superior technique, detecting 62 (97%) of the 64 pathologically proven cancers, while sonography detected only 37 (58%). When considering those cancers most amenable to cure, mammography detected over 90% in all categories, but sonography detected only 48% of the cancers that had not yet spread to axillary lymph nodes, only 30% of the nonpalpable malignancies, and only 8% of the cancers smaller than 1 cm. These data indicate that sonography is not an acceptable substitute for mammography in the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. The data further suggest that radiologists who wish to improve the cancer-detecting ability of their current breast imaging operation should upgrade their mammography to state-of-the-art status before adding an automated whole-breast ultrasound scanner.

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