New study on benefits of 3D mammograms

Katy Lowry, MD is lead author of a new study from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, along with co-authors Christoph Lee, MD, MS, MBA and Janie Lee, MD, on the benefits of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT).  Published in the JAMA Network Open, this study suggests that improvements in recall rate and cancer detection with DBT compared to digital mammography (DM) depend on a woman’s age, screening round, and breast density. The researchers found that DBT is most beneficial for women undergoing their first screening mammogram, associating that group with the largest improvements in recall reduction and cancer detection. In subsequent exams, most women experience one or both of these benefits with DBT.

But for women whose breasts were categorized as “extremely dense”, DBT did not make a difference in how many cancers were found or how many recalls these women had. “This is a concern because this group of women is knows to be at higher risk for having cancers missed by mammography,” Lowry said. Beyond that subgroup, DBT’s superior performance to digital mammography was broadly experienced, she added. Importantly, most women with dense breasts are in the heterogeneously dense category, and these women had the largest boost in cancer detection with DBT. “Our findings can help providers and patients better decide how to make decisions about screening mammography,” Dr. Lowry concludes.

You can read more about the study in BCSC’s BlogNews Medical and in UW’s Newsroom.



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