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Breast Cancer Testing Becoming Less Invasive

Category: Breast

According to new research, a procedure known as the core needle biopsy (CNB) may be just as effective in diagnosing breast cancer as a more invasive open surgical procedure.

In a study to be published in the January 5 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, scientists examined data from more than 100 studies that compared various methods of breast cancer testing, finding that the CNB and surgical biopsy yielded about the same rate of successful diagnoses, HealthDay News reports.

"Our findings were that any CNB has a lower risk of complications, and was almost as accurate as surgical methods," Wendy Bruening, the study's lead investigator, told the news source.

She added that "women diagnosed using CNB were more likely to be treated with just one procedure."

CNB's are performed using a large needle with a hollow center to extract a sample from a breast lesion, after the application of local anesthesia. Open surgical biopsies require surgeons to make an incision on the skin using a scalpel, and can often lead to scarring.

Both tests are routinely done after mammograms suggest the presence of a potentially harmful lesion.

According to the American Cancer Society, the incidence rate of female breast cancer decreased by about 2 percent per year between 1999 and 2006.

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