Digital mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis performance and outcomes in breast cancer survivors

In a study recently published in Radiology, a research team led by Janie Lee, MD and including Katy Lowry, MD evaluated whether digital mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis have improved diagnostic performance of surveillance mammography.  The study included 117,971 mammograms from 32,331 women with treated breast cancer.  The researchers found little improvement in performance when the more recent digital mammograms and tomosynthesis exams from 2007-2016 were compared to film-screen mammography performance estimates from 1996-2007.  In particular, interval cancer rates, or cancers diagnosed within a year of a mammogram with negative results, for breast cancer survivors were more than four times higher compared to the screening population.

These results indicate that despite technological advances over the past decade, surveillance mammography has important limitations in detecting second breast cancers and suggest a potential role for targeted supplemental surveillance imaging to improve long-term survival for women after breast cancer treatment.

You can read the write-up in Aunt Minnie here, the entry in the BCSC blog here, and access the article in PubMed here.

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