ROCHESTER, Minn., March 16 (UPI) -- Some breast cancers are still detected as a palpable lump rather than through mammographic screening, U.S. researchers say.
Patients who presented with palpable tumors -- those detected as a result of breast complaint or during examination -- had larger tumors and were at a more advanced stage at diagnosis. The women who underwent annual mammographic screening had the lowest rate of palpable presentation.
Dr. Amy C. Degnim of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said the data suggested clinical breast examination and breast self-examination should continue to play a role in detecting breast cancer.
"We were a little surprised to find that the percentage of women with breast cancer who presented with a palpable lump hadn't changed much since 1990," Degnim said in a statement. "We found that 43 percent of breast cancers at Mayo Clinic Rochester in 2000 had a palpable presentation and most of the women had undergone some prior screening mammograms, but not always at the recommended annual interval."
A total of 115 women were in the 40-49 age group with 67 breast cancers identified by the patients or their doctors and 48 found by mammography, the study concluded.
The findings are published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.