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No Ultrasound Benefit Found for Dense Breasts

Adding ultrasound to mammograms for all women with dense breasts will lead to more tests, cost a lot and ultimately save very few lives, a new study says. Dense breasts have more non-fatty than fatty tissue. Women with dense breasts have a higher risk of breast cancer. It's also harder to detect tumors in dense breasts on a mammogram. Some doctors have started adding ultrasound as part of routine screening for these women. Researchers used data from breast cancer databases. They compared computer simulations based on 3 scenarios. All of them focused on screening every 2 years for women ages 50 to 74. In the first scenario, women got mammograms only. The other scenarios also included ultrasound for women with very dense breasts or for women with very dense and moderately dense breasts. The study found that adding ultrasound did not save many lives.

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