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Attributes, Performance, and Gaps in Current & Emerging Breast Cancer Screening Technologies

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 2 ]


Hina M. Ismail*, Christopher G. Pretty, Matthew K. Signal, Marcus Haggers and J. Geoffrey Chase   Pages 122 - 131 ( 10 )


Background: Early detection of breast cancer, combined with effective treatment, can reduce mortality. Millions of women are diagnosed with breast cancer and many die every year globally. Numerous early detection screening tests have been employed. A wide range of current breast cancer screening methods are reviewed based on a series of searchers focused on clinical testing and performance.

Discussion: The key factors evaluated centre around the trade-offs between accuracy (sensitivity and specificity), operator dependence of results, invasiveness, comfort, time required, and cost. All of these factors affect the quality of the screen, access/eligibility, and/or compliance to screening programs by eligible women. This survey article provides an overview of the working principles, benefits, limitations, performance, and cost of current breast cancer detection techniques. It is based on an extensive literature review focusing on published works reporting the main performance, cost, and comfort/compliance metrics considered.

Conclusion: Due to limitations and drawbacks of existing breast cancer screening methods there is a need for better screening methods. Emerging, non-invasive methods offer promise to mitigate the issues particularly around comfort/pain and radiation dose, which would improve compliance and enable all ages to be screened regularly. However, these methods must still undergo significant validation testing to prove they can provide realistic screening alternatives to the current accepted standards.


Mammography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, thermography, microwave imaging, elastography.


University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Canterbury, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Canterbury, Tiro Medical Limited, Christchurch, Canterbury, Tiro Medical Limited, Christchurch, Canterbury, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Canterbury

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