Researchers are on the search for novel non-invasive technology to establish the diagnosis of breast cancer and stage it. SPECT and PET scintigraphy offer some hope in this regard, but more research is warranted to completely rely on these diagnostic modalities for diagnosis and staging of breast cancer.
It is a well known fact that oncologic imaging and oncologic therapy are clinical and scientific companions. Most often than not, cancers are detected through some imaging modality either through routine screening of high risk groups or through evaluation of clinical symptomatology and signs (1). Many advances have occured in the technology of imaging diagnosis since the advent of X-ray imaging. Current imaging modalities like computed tomography, positron emission tomography, single photon emission computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear imaging have taken diagnostic imaging of oncologic conditions to a different level by providing a clear picture of the the tumor. The newer optical approach methods of Ultrasound imaging complements the other diagnostic imaging methods (1). In this article, the application of imaging in the diagnosis and managment of breast cancer will be discussed to gain a holistic view of the application of diagnostic imaging in breast oncology.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death due to cancers in women all over the world. The last 2 decades have seen a rise in the research pertaining to diagnosis and management of breast cancer resulting in early identification of the disease, early institution of treatment, more efficient treatments with less toxicity and improved prognosis (2). According to surveys in 2002, the breast cancer incidence rates varied internationally. While Mozambique demonstrated an incidence rate of 3.9 cases per 100,000, United States reported 101.1 cases per 100,000 (2). The American