This health video shows the new alternatives to help reduce the amount of unnecessary biopsies.
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Jennifer Matthews: It started when Laura Francis was a teenager. She found a lump in her breast and underwent her first biopsy. Laura Francis: When you're that age and you have something like that, you think, you know, the worst. Jennifer Matthews: Laura's lump was not cancer. Since then she's had eight more lumps, eight more biopsies all benign. Doctor Maria Kallergi says this technology could save women from unnecessary biopsies. Dr. Maria Kallergi: We biopsy a lot of patients and 70 to 80 percent of them are negative. Jennifer Matthews: Currently, a computer can alert a radiologist to a suspicious area in a mammogram, but it doesn't differentiate between cancer and non-cancerous tissue. Dr. Maria Kallergi: We are going right now to the next step where we have computer programs that do the diagnostic part, that come up with a prediction. Jennifer Matthews: A recent study shows the new software correctly identifies most cancer cases. Out of 100 benign cases, it will correctly predict 85 of them, saving these women from a biopsy. This technology correctly predicted Laura's last lump. She hopes this technology will help women in the future not have to go through the same ordeal she has. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.