Digital mammograms have been found to offer a significant advantage over conventional X-ray films, reducing the number of inconclusive findings and false-positive results that lead to unnecessary follow-up procedures.
In a new study published online in the journal Radiology, Norwegian researchers found women who undergo full-field digital mammography have lower recall and biopsy rates than those screened with conventional breast techniques — suggesting digital procedures may reduce the number of diagnostic workups in cases where women are not at risk for breast cancer.
Past studies comparing the accuracy of the two techniques have reported conflicting results on biopsy and recall rates — the rate at which women are called back for additional tests.
But the new study, which analyzed medical records from the Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening Program, clearly found an advantage to digital screening by examining the rates of cases, recalls, biopsies, and screening-detected cancers.
In all, researchers analyzed the results from more than 1.8 million screening exams performed from 1996 to 2010.
The results showed digital screening had lower rates of false-positive exams and fewer biopsies with benign outcomes than conventional mammograms.
Posts by Erika Schwartz, M.D
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