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Study: Methods of cancer testing improving

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

Elastography, a diagnostic test which measures the physical properties of human tissues can help doctors identify cancerous lesions when used in conjunction with ultrasound, a new study indicates.

Researchers at the Radiological Society of North America found that elastography correctly identified 98 percent of malignant lesions and 82 percent of benign lesions in 179 women who underwent breast cancer testing, Health Day News reports.

The technology measures the compressibility of a lesion, allowing physicians to differentiate between cancerous tumors, which are typically stiffer than surrounding tissues and benign growths, which are usually more compressible.

"The visualized portion of a skin lesion can be just the tip of the iceberg, and most dermatologists operate blindly beyond what they can see on the surface," the study's lead author Dr Eliot Siegel told the news source.

He added, elastography testing provides "almost microscopic resolution," giving doctors the chance to more thoroughly evaluate a lesion before performing a biopsy.

According to the American Cancer Society, almost 80 percent of breast tumors that are removed turn out to be benign.

Breast cancer is the seventh leading cause of death among women in the U.S., ACS reports.

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