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Ultrasounds Help Find Breast Cancer — And Many Harmless Spots

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By Liz Szabo, USA TODAY

Screening women with both ultrasounds and mammograms allows doctors to find more breast cancers than if they rely on mammograms alone, a new study shows. However, the combination also leads to many more unnecessary biopsies, and experts don't recommend it to most patients.

Researchers involved in a study of more than 2,600 women in today's Journal of the American Medical Association focused on women at high risk, such as those who have had previous breast tumors.

In such women, mammograms found cancer in eight out of 1,000 women screened. Adding an ultrasound let doctors find cancer in 12 out of 1,000, said the study, which was financed by the Avon Foundation and the National Cancer Institute. Together, the tests found 78% of cancers.

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