3D Mammograms Improve Breast Cancer Screening

3D Mammograms Improve Breast Cancer Screening

Higher detection rates, fewer false alarms seen with newer technology, study says

TUESDAY, June 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Newer, three-dimensional mammograms may be better at picking up invasive tumors and avoiding false alarms than traditional breast cancer screening methods, a study of 13 U.S. hospitals suggests.

Researchers found that 3D mammography, used along with standard digital mammograms, bumped up breast cancer detection rates by more than 40 percent.

At the same time, there was a 15 percent dip in the number of women who had to return for more tests because of a suspicious mammogram finding.

Experts said the findings, reported in the June 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggest the 3D technology can boost the accuracy of mammography screening.

“This is very positive,” said Dr. Etta Pisano of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, who wrote an editorial published with the study.

“If you have access to 3D mammography, you should feel comfortable getting it,” Pisano said.

“We found 3D mammography really does help doctors find more invasive breast cancers while cutting down on callbacks,” Friedewald said. A “callback” happens when a mammogram picks up something suspicious, and the doctor wants to do additional imaging or a biopsy. For most women, it turns out to be nothing; according to the American Cancer Society, fewer than 10 percent of women called back for more testing are diagnosed with breast cancer.

By Amy Norton

HealthDay Reporter


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