LEBANON, N.H., May 25 (UPI) -- Nearly 20 percent of women recently diagnosed with breast cancer had additional tumors found only by magnetic resonance imaging, U.S. researchers found.
Researchers at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., said 199 patients who were newly diagnosed with breast cancer underwent breast MRI.
"We found additional, unsuspected cancers in the ipsilateral breast -- the one that had already been diagnosed with cancer -- in 16 percent of patients; we found cancers in the contralateral breast -- the one that had not been diagnosed with cancer -- in 4 percent of patients," Dr. Petra J. Lewis, the lead author, said in a statement.
"These patients had already had bilateral mammography and these tumors had not been apparent on mammography."
The study, published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, found the additional tumors in nearly one-fifth of patients are tumors that can potentially grow and not be diagnosed until they are much larger -- affecting the health and survival of the patients.
"This study has been particularly helpful to us as clinicians because it gives us data we can discuss with patients when recommending breast MRI," Lewis said.