Research Suggests Better Breast Cancer Detection Rates with Digital Mammography

by: cancercompass

Researchers suggest performing digital, instead of film, mammography has increased breast cancer detection rates, reports Reuters Health.

Despite these findings, up to 70% of screening facilities continue to use film-screen mammography, which projects a breast image onto film. Digital mammography, by contrast, takes an electronic image that is stored in a computer. Doctors are able to manipulate digital images and use software that helps detect any abnormalities.

Doctors Fred S. Vernacchia and Zachary G. Pena, of the San Luis Diagnostic Center in San Luis Obispo, California analyzed data on 4,838 mammography screenings taken the year before the center converted to digital mammography and on more than 21,500 screenings taken over the subsequent 3 years.

Cancers detected prior to the switch to digital mammography averaged between 4.1 to 4.5 cancers per 1,000 women screened, whereas after the switch doctors found 7.9 cancers per 1,000 women imaged.

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