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Tomosynthesis May Improve Breast Cancer Detection Rates — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 25, 2014

Tomosynthesis May Improve Breast Cancer Detection Rates

By Kelly Young

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM

The addition of three-dimensional breast imaging, known as tomosynthesis, to digital mammography is associated with increased cancer detection rates, compared with digital mammography alone, according to an industry-funded, retrospective study in JAMA.

At 13 breast centers, researchers analyzed the results of over 450,000 digital mammography exams before and after the centers implemented tomosynthesis. Patients were recalled for further imaging less often after digital mammography plus tomosynthesis than after digital mammography alone (91 vs. 107 per 1000 screens). Although biopsies were more common after tomosynthesis than after mammography alone (19.3 vs. 18.1 per 1000 screens), there was a 21% relative increase in the positive predictive value for biopsy after tomosynthesis. In addition, invasive cancer was detected at a higher rate after tomosynthesis (4.1 vs. 2.9 per 1000 screens).

The authors note: "The association with fewer unnecessary tests and biopsies, with a simultaneous increase in cancer detection rates, would support the potential benefits of tomosynthesis as a tool for screening. However, assessment for a benefit in clinical outcomes is needed."

Reader Comments (1)

Judy Other, Physician Practice

Breast CA Screening

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