Health Capsules Help Detect Breast Cancer More Efficiently

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In a large screening study at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), researchers compared breast imaging results from 3-D mammography, known as digital breast tomosynthesis, to results from standard digital mammography, which is the most widely used breast cancer screening procedure of today.

Tomosynthesis allows for 3-D reconstruction of breast tissue, giving radiologists a clearer view of the overlapping slices of breast tissue. Additionally, this seemingly new technology may soon lead to an improved detection for breast cancer with fewer callbacks for false positives.

For the study, approximately 15,600 women received 3-D mammography, and around 10,700 had standard digital mammograms. Six radiologists looked at the images and determined that the 3-D mammograms found 22 percent more breast cancers and led to fewer callbacks (10.4 percent for standard mammography as opposed to 8.78 percent for 3-D mammography).3-D-mammography

“It’s the most exciting improvement to mammography that I have seen in my career, even more important than the conversion from film-screen mammography to digital mammography. The coming years will be very exciting as we see further improvements in this innovative technology,” said chief of breast imaging in the radiology department at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Emily F. Conant, M.D.

Results of the study were presented by Conant at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America held earlier this month in Chicago.


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