New study could give boost to digital mammo

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Digital mammography is widely regarded as a powerful new tool in the detection of breast cancer. Yet, thus far the technology is not broadly utilized with the FDA estimating that fewer than 10 percent of breast screening facilities use the new systems.
   
A hoped-for boost to the technology could be on the way in the form of a report from the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) comparing the effectiveness of digital mammography versus conventional x-ray. The results will be released on Sept. 16.

The cost of digital mammography systems might seem prohibitive, but digital mammography systems are likely to provide a big return on investment (ROI) in the long run for facilities that install them due to their speed and overall precision, as well as ease in integrating with other applications.

Also, as analog x-ray mammography systems currently in use eventually need to be replaced, the hope is that organizations will chose to replace them with digital systems.

The Millennium Research Group (MRG) has recently predicted that the U.S. digital breast imaging market is poised to jump from a current $100 million to $480 million by 2009.