Despite technological advancements in the healthcare industry, breast cancer remains a major health problem. Self-examination and annual screening mammograms continue to be the most common methods used for early detection. Although cancer screenings have become a controversial topic, the importance of early diagnosis is undisputed . Nevertheless, there is a critical need to further develop diagnostic breast imaging techniques that can distinguish which masses pose a threat, and which do not.
False Positives: Why Do They Occur?
The continued high rate of false-positive breast cancer screenings is largely the result of outdated technology. For example, screening mammograms most often detect benign cysts, calcifications and infections which may lead to false-positive breast cancer diagnoses. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) provides receptor specific tumor imaging–this allows distinction between benign (cancer-free) and malignant (cancer-positive) tumors and provides a more accurate demonstration of the state of malignancy.
In 2019, it is estimated that there will be 331,530 new cases of breast cancer and 41,760 breast cancer deaths among women in the U.S. . In the U.S. male population, although rare, there will be approximately 2,670 new breast cancer cases and 500 breast cancer deaths in 2019 .