Around 90 per cent of all breast cancers can be definitively diagnosed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), researchers report. This compares to the combined methods of mammography and ultrasound which yielded a detection rate of just 37.5 per cent.
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It is known that the use of mammography and ultrasound cannot detect all types of cancer.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology done in Vienna “clearly shows the superiority of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) over mammography and breast ultrasound examinations," says Thomas Helbich, who led the study with Christopher Riedl.
The study involved 559 women at increased risk of breast cancer, and performed 1,365 screening examinations. It revealed that 90% of all breast cancers can be clearly detected by MRI compared to the combined methods of mammography and ultrasound which yielded a detection rate of just 37.5%. None of the cancers were detected by ultrasound alone. The results were similar for non-invasive cancers and for benign breast lesions.
The results of the study should encourage the increased use of MRI for breast screening.
According to OECD 2011 published information Austria has 18 MRI scanners per million inhabitants -- putting the country above the EU average (10 scanners / million inhabitants). If MRI is to be used more frequently, Italian or Greek ratios would be better: in these countries, there are 23 and 22 MRI scanners per million inhabitants respectively. In the USA there are 31 MRI scanners per million population, and in Japan 46. Whereas in Australia and the UK each have only 5, and New Zealand has 11.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publishes the number of MRI units per million population of each of its 34 member countries. See details here - http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/health_glance-2013-en/04/02/index.html?itemId=/content/chapter/health_glance-2013-33-en&mimeType=text/html