Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ultrasound detects cancer in pregnancy

HOUSTON, March 29 (UPI) -- Investigators at a Houston cancer treatment center say that ultrasound is proving to be a reliable means of detecting breast cancer in pregnant women. "We want young women to know that symptomatic breast cancer that occurs during pregnancy can be imaged, diagnosed and treated while pregnant, so they should not wait to seek medical attention if they start to have suspicious symptoms," said Dr. Wei Yang of the Anderson Cancer Treatment Center. Yang and her colleagues tracked 23 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant. They found that ultrasound detected breast cancers in all of the women who had it, while mammography detected 90 percent of the cancers. Breast cancers during pregnancy are difficult to detect, Wang said. Ultrasound also proved useful for determining whether chemotherapy was working. The study was published in the journal Radiology.