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The next test will be to see how MBI stacks up against MRI. The federal government is paying for a new study Mayo is leading that compares the two in 120 high-risk women with dense breasts.
MRI is often used now for women with dense breasts, but it gives many false alarms that lead to unnecessary biopsies. Doctors hope MBI will prove more accurate and cost less -- under $500 versus more than $1,000 for an MRI.
"We all know that mammography is, in and of itself, an imperfect tool, and we clearly need to do better in the future," said Dr. Eric Winer of the Dana-Farber Cancer Center in Boston, a spokesman for the oncology group. "It is fair to say that MRI will not solve all problems either."
One drawback of MBI: It uses about 8 to 10 times the radiation of mammograms, a dose that engineers like Hruska are trying to lower with newer technology. Other medical centers also are testing MBI.
"We're just beginning to see what this technology can do," she said.
On the Net:
Cancer conference: http://www.asco.org/ and http://www.cancer.net/
Mayo Clinic: http://tinyurl.com/5rrwx3
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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