Breast Cancer Detection Rate
Studies convincingly prove that the sensitivity of a physical examination of the mammary glands in combination with mammography appears to be improved compared with the use of mammography alone, since a physical examination of the mammary glands can reveal tumors missed during mammography.
The incidence of breast cancer (BC) varies in different studies from 3.4 (in Edinburgh) to 45% in the Health Insurance Plan study. After evaluating all the data, the authors concluded that the sensitivity of a physical study is about 54%, and the specificity – 94%.
To maximize the effectiveness of physical examination of the mammary glands, several factors should be taken into account. It is shown that the duration of physical research is directly related to sensitivity. It is believed that, in general, a 6-minute (3 min per mammary gland) study gives the best results.
Obviously, the experience of the doctor and the method of the research itself are also important. One of the factors is considered to be the patient’s age, since in older women, the mammary glands contain more adipose tissue, which facilitates the identification of formations. The size and structure of the mammary glands also affects the detectability of tumors. The authors, who conducted the research, believe that the best method is MammoCare. The peculiarity of this method is the use of the pads of the index, middle and ring fingers for making small circular movements.
This palpation is carried out in straight lines (“lawnmower method”), going from the clavicle to the line of the bra. The authors believe that a well-conducted physical examination of the mammary glands can reveal at least 50% of asymptomatic tumors and lead to a decrease in mortality in patients undergoing screening.