News | Mammography | January 16, 2019

Digital Mammography Increases Breast Cancer Detection

U.K. study evaluates more than 11 million screening mammograms

Digital Mammography Increases Breast Cancer Detection

January 16, 2019 — The shift from film to digital mammography increased the detection of breast cancer by 14 percent overall in the United Kingdom without increasing the recall rate, according to a major new study appearing in the journal Radiology.1

Digital mammography was introduced into clinical use more than 15 years ago and has been widely adopted due to the numerous advantages it has over its predecessor, screen film mammography.

“Image quality with digital mammography is improved over that of screen film mammography,” said radiologist and study coauthor Rosalind M. Given-Wilson, MBBS, from St. Georges University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London. “In particular, digital mammography provides the ability to visualize calcifications and see through denser tissue, and it allows the reader to adjust the image.”

Given-Wilson and colleagues assessed digital mammography’s impact on cancer detection using data from the 80 facilities of the English National Health Service Breast Cancer Screening Program. The huge trove of data combined with estimates of digital mammography usage enabled the researchers to measure the effect of digital mammography in 11.3 million screening exams in women between the ages of 45 and 70.

The overall cancer detection rate was 14 percent greater with digital mammography, with substantially higher detection of grade 1 and grade 2 invasive cancers — early-stage cancers that could advance to life-threatening disease if not detected and treated early enough.

At first screening exams for women aged 45 to 52, digital mammography increased the overall detection rate by 19 percent. Importantly, the higher sensitivity of digital mammography did not increase the recall rate — the rate at which women are called back for additional screening based on suspicious results.

“This improvement happened in the absence of other changes in the English screening program, such as a change in recall rate or introduction of computer-aided detection, so we can be clear that the increased rate of detection is due to the change in technology,” Given-Wilson said.

Digital mammography increased the detection of some types of cancers more than others. For instance, digital mammography significantly increased the detection of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), an early-stage cancer confined to the milk ducts of the breast, at both first screens and subsequent screens.

“These results confirm that digital mammography is superior to screen film mammography in finding invasive cancers and DCIS,” Given-Wilson said. “Women are more likely to have a cancer detected with a digital mammogram.”

While digital mammography improved detection of grade 1 and 2 cancers, the researchers found no improvement in the detection of grade 3 invasive cancers. Grade 3 cancers are faster-growing and more likely to spread than grade 1 and 2 cancers.

The researchers are looking at the radiological features of grade 3 cancers on digital mammography to see if optimizing the image for these lesions, which are often nonspecific and ill-defined soft tissue densities, can aid detection. They are also studying the relationship between grade 3 cancers and subsequent interval cancers, or cancers that appear between screenings.

For more information: www.pubs.rsna.org/journal/radiology

Reference

1. Blanks R.G., Wallis M.G., Alison R., et al. Impact of Digital Mammography on Cancer Detection and Recall Rates: 11.3 Million Screening Episodes in the English National Health Service Breast Cancer Screening Program. Radiology, Dec. 11, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2018181426

Related Content

ADHD Medication May Affect Brain Development in Children

Images of regions of interest (colored lines) in the white matter skeleton representation. Data from left and right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) were averaged. Image courtesy of C. Bouziane et al.

News | Neuro Imaging | August 16, 2019
A drug used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to affect development of the brain’s...
First Patient Enrolled in World's Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial
News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019
Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive...
Efficacy of Isoray's Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies
News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019
August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica
Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging

Image courtesy of Imago Systems

News | Mammography | August 14, 2019
Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year...
Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses
News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that...
Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS
News | PACS | August 09, 2019
Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and...
Contrast Use in First Transthoracic Echocardiogram for Heart Failure Reduces Repeat Testing
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | August 07, 2019
Heart failure is the fourth most common cause for all admission to U.S. hospitals, and it is the most common reason for...
Rise in Early Onset Colorectal Cancer Not Aligned With Screening Trends
News | Colonoscopy Systems | August 06, 2019
A new study finds that trends in colonoscopy rates did not fully align with the increase in colorectal cancer (CRC) in...
Artificial Intelligence Improves Heart Attack Risk Assessment
News | CT Angiography (CTA) | August 06, 2019
When used with a common heart scan, machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence (AI), does better than...