Breast cancer: the diagnostic shortfall

Breast

The today’s gold standard diagnostic method (mammography) is limited in its capability to diagnose dense breasts, ultrasounds are operator dependent and systems capable to examine dense breasts (MRI, TAC, PET) are highly expensive and invasive, therefore not suitable for mass screening and diagnosis. This represents a major diagnostic shortfall because because approximately one third of new cancers affects young women, characterized by dense breasts, and an increasing number of women in the fifties and above have dense breasts, related to improvements in lifestyle and overall health. This phenomenon is particularly evident in the most developed world, western countries and Japan (JoAnn Pushkin, D.E.N.S.E. – Dense Education National Survivors’ Effort - July 2014 and Mammographic density and the risk of breast cancer in Japanese women, C. Nagata et alii, British Journal of Cancer, June 2005).