Mammogram Sensitivity Varies by Week of Menstrual Cycle

Highest in first week of cycle; effect seen only in women who have regular mammograms

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Premenopausal women who schedule regular mammograms may benefit by undergoing screening during the first week of their menstrual cycle, according to research published in the February issue of Radiology.

Diana L. Miglioretti, Ph.D., of the Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, and colleagues studied data on 387,218 screening mammograms linked to 1,283 breast cancers in premenopausal women to investigate the effectiveness of screening mammography by week of the menstrual cycle.

The researchers found little overall difference in mammography performance according to week of menstrual cycle, but further analysis reveled greater sensitivity in week one in the 66.6 percent of women who had undergone regular screening mammography (sensitivity of 79.5, 70.3, 67.4, and 73.0 percent in weeks one, two, three, and four, respectively). Sensitivity tended to be lower in week one, however, in the 17.8 percent of women receiving a first-time mammogram (P = .051).

"Premenopausal women who undergo regular screening may benefit from higher sensitivity of mammography if they schedule screening mammography during the first week of their menstrual cycle," the authors write.

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