Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Little benefit of breast imaging tests for women with breast pain, study suggests

Date:
March 7, 2012
Source:
Boston University Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers have found that women with breast pain who receive imaging (mammograms, MRIs or ultrasounds) as part of breast pain evaluation, undergo follow-up diagnostic testing, but do not tend to gain benefit from these additional studies.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) have found that women with breast pain who receive imaging (mammograms, MRIs or ultrasounds) as part of breast pain evaluation, undergo follow-up diagnostic testing, but do not gain benefit from these additional studies. These findings currently appear on-line in Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Related Articles


Breast pain is a common breast health complaint, but very few women with breast pain alone have an underlying breast cancer. The guidelines for management of women with breast pain are not clear, though past studies have suggested that other tests beyond the routine screening mammogram can provide reassurance for women with breast pain.

The researchers analyzed a group of 916 women who were referred from 2006-2009 for breast pain at Boston Medical Center. They compared the clinical management of women who received imaging to evaluate breast pain to women who did not. Six cancers were identified: all these women either had a lump on exam, or had a routine screening mammogram find a cancer in the other breast. For women who had a completely normal breast examination, the addition of an ultrasound, MRI or mammogram did not help the patient or the doctor in their decisions. The additional ultrasounds and other studies beyond the regular screening mammogram did have a potential negative side, including additional doctor visits, more mammograms and other tests as well as more biopsies.

"While some have suggested that doing further testing in women with breast pain will help to reassure the patient, we did not find this to be the case," explained lead author Mary Beth Howard, MS, an MD candidate, BUSM Class of 2015. Howard authored this study under the mentorship of Drs. Karen Freund, Tracy Battaglia and Marianne Prout of the Women's Health Unit in the Department of Medicine at BUSM and BMC.

"More tests are not always a good thing. They can lead to still further tests or even biopsies which themselves have some risk. They can sometimes increase anxiety without providing any benefit to the patient," she added.

According to the researchers, if the goal is to improve health care quality, it is important to determine if imaging in women with breast pain is a valuable diagnostic tool. "We hope this study is a first step in providing better direction for managing women with breast pain, and hopefully emphasizing that additional imaging studies are not indicated in women unless there is a focal breast complaint, such as a mass or lump," said Howard.

Funding for this study was made possible by an Avon Foundation Safety Net Funding Initiative Grant and a Research in Health Disparities Training grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mary Beth Howard, Tracy Battaglia, Marianne Prout, Karen Freund. The Effect of Imaging on the Clinical Management of Breast Pain. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-011-1982-4

Cite This Page:

Boston University Medical Center. "Little benefit of breast imaging tests for women with breast pain, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120307094612.htm>.
Boston University Medical Center. (2012, March 7). Little benefit of breast imaging tests for women with breast pain, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120307094612.htm
Boston University Medical Center. "Little benefit of breast imaging tests for women with breast pain, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120307094612.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins