New method helps evaluate hard-to-spot tumors

June 24, 2010

Biopsies are often performed when mammograms and ultrasounds cannot determine if a suspicious breast lump is in fact cancerous. But the majority of those biopsies don't find any cancer.

University of Connecticut researchers studied 178 women who underwent breast imaging that used a combination of ultrasound and infrared light.

Infrared light measurements were used to differentiate between healthy and cancerous tissue because the cancerous tissue absorbs more of this light than benign tissue.

The non-surgical experimental technique diagnosed about 9 out of 10 lesions that were detected with biopsies.

The lead researcher of the study says the technique could help radiologists evaluate small to medium sized tumors that can be hard to detect with traditional diagnostic tools.

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