Study: FFDM more effective than SFM in breast cancer detection

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In a recent issue of European Radiology, the Vestfold County Study results were released comparing full-field digital mammography (FFDM) to screen film mammography (SFM) used during the first prevalent two-year round of population-based screening, which concluded that FFDM has a higher rate of breast cancer detection.

The study involved a total of 18,239 women between the ages of 50 and 69, who were screened with FFDM as part of the Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP), which is part of the Norweigian Ministry of Health. This data was compared with 324, 763 women, who were screened with SFM using the NBCSP database.

The results of the data comparison suggested that cancer detection rates were 0.77 percent for FFDM and 0.65 percent for SFM. For ductal carcinoma in situ alone, the results were: FFDM 0.21 percent compared to SFM 0.11 percent. Recall rates due to positive mammography were for FFDM 4.09 percent, while for SFM 4.16 percent, due to technically insufficient imaging: FFDM 0.22 percent versus SFM 0.61 percent. 

The study concluded that the positive predictive value in the FFDM group was 16.6 percent, while 13.5 percent for SFM. In comparing process indicators, FFDM performed better than or equal to SFM, and overall the cancer detection rate was higher for FFDM. Overall, the technical recall rate was statistically lower for digital images than film.

FFMD research was performed using the Bedford, Mass.-based Hologic Selenia digital mammography system.