MRI machines can help determine cancer location more accurately

3rd May 2011

MRI machines can be used to determine if a patient has endometrial or cervical cancer, even when a biopsy cannot make the distinction, according to new research.

A study conducted by researchers at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Chicago found that the machine was able to identify the primary site of cancer correctly in almost 80 per cent of cases, where the biopsy had been inconclusive.

These results could help physicians to develop more accurate and appropriate cancer treatment.

Researcher Heather He said: "In about three per cent of the case there is difficulty in determining the primary cancer site. Knowing the primary cancer site means that we can give the patients the most appropriate therapy and save some patients from unnecessary surgery."

Cervical and endometrial cancers are two of the most common gynaecological cancers affecting women. The former affects the lining of the womb, and is most often seen in women over the age of 60. Women are screened for cervical cancer from the age of 25.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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