Targeted breast ultrasound was found to be effective in evaluating focal breast signs and symptoms of disease in women below 30 years of age.
Researchers at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in Seattle reviewed all ultrasound examinations performed for focal breast signs or symptoms in women younger than 30 from January 2002 through August 2006.
They confirmed outcomes with biopsy results, 24 months of ultrasound surveillance or linkage with the regional tumor registry.
"The overall incidence of breast malignancy in our study was 0.4 percent," said lead author Wendy B. DeMartini.
"The sensitivity of ultrasound in detecting breast malignancy in our study was 100 percent, because all cancers were sonographically identified. Thus, there were no false-negative exams for which the addition of mammography would have added diagnostic value. Our negative predictive value (NPV) was 100 percent," she added.
"The high sensitivity and NPV of ultrasound in our investigation substantiates its application as the primary imaging technique in young women with focal breast concerns," said DeMartini.
The study will appear in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.