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Madrid, October 20, 2021. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women. "Although age is one of the risk factors, especially after 40, the condition is also observed in young women, in particularly advanced, aggressive forms," explains Dr. Silvia Perez Rodrigo, head of Breast Radiology at MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid. To minimize severe cases, early detection through regular check-ups and tests, like mammography or ultrasound, is essential.

MD Anderson Madrid is one of the few hospitals in Spain equipped with one of the latest developments in the field, 3D automated breast ultrasound (ABUS). This technology, new to Spain, but more widespread in other countries, reduces the number of false negatives in comparison to those that occur in mammography, especially in young patients, which is why it is already being used in these cases, and in asymptomatic women and those with dense breasts (breasts with a large amount of breast tissue and less fatty tissue).

In fact, dense breasts are an important risk factor, since 71% of breast cancers occur in breasts of this type2, which are found in 40% of women3.

Greater scope compared to traditional techniques

"3D Automated Breast Ultrasound is especially useful because it provides better interpretation of the entire breast in comparison to mammography in cases of dense breasts, which are common in young women," explains Dr. Perez. The problem is that in dense breasts diagnosis is more difficult and up to half of malignant lesions may go unnoticed in a traditional mammogram1.

Advances in this technology, which is complementary to mammography, but with 30%1 more sensitivity, represent considerable improvements in the diagnosis of patients, but also in the planning of surgeries with greater accuracy since it locates the tumor more precisely.

Compared to conventional ultrasound, which has certain limitations, like 2D images or the fact that it depends on the specialist’s interpretation of the image, 3D automated breast ultrasound provides, as its name suggests, three-dimensional images, so the specialist can move to see the lesion in the three planes. "It means the technique is not operator dependent, and we all see the same images and can compare opinions with greater reliability," says Dr. Perez.

Likewise, the specialist states that, due to the excellent benefits of the technique, "new indications are already being explored, as in patients with high-risk injuries, both for comparison purposes and for planning surgeries", which would set precedents for other hospitals nationwide to opt for the use of this new tool.