Date Published: 17 September 2005

Digital mammography is better at detecting breast cancer in young women

Health News from the United States of America (USA)

Health News from the USA

A study of 42,760 women at 33 sites across the United States and Canada found that digital mammography is better than standard X-ray mammography at locating cancer in young women and those with dense breast tissue.

This study, which is one of the largest breast cancer screening studies ever performed, was conducted by the American College of Radiology, funded by the National Cancer Institute, and reported in a special online publication of the New England Journal of Medicine (16 Sept '05).

Digital mammography detected up to 28% more cancers than X-ray mammography in women aged 50 and younger, premenopausal and perimenopausal women, and women with dense breasts, according to the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST).

However, the ACRIN results showed no difference between digital and film (X-ray) mammography in detecting breast cancer for the general population of women.

Nagi Khouri, M.D., director of breast imaging at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the principal investigator for the Hopkins site of the study, said that its conclusions have important implications for women:

" There is a large percentage of women for whom we can now demonstrate that digital mammography is the preferred modality," he said.

Source(s): Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), USA

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