A study published in July's Breast Journal concludes that BioLucent Inc.'s FDA-cleared MammoPad breast cushion greatly reduces the discomfort many women experience during mammograms, even when compression force is increased. The study was headed by Lauralyn Markle, MD, medical director of the Memorial Care Breast Center at Saddleback of Laguna Hills, Calif.
MammoPad is a single-use foam cushion that covers the cold, hard surfaces of the mammography device. Its radiolucent material is invisible to x-rays.
A total of 505 women who were presenting for routine screening mammograms at Memorial Care Breast Center participated in the research. Each subject had one breast imaged with the cushion, and the other breast imaged without the cushion. Patients' breasts were positioned and compressed in the standard manner.
Before the mammogram, patients rated anticipated discomfort using a visual analog scale (VAS). When the mammogram was over, patients used the VAS to rate any discomfort they felt in both the breast x-rayed with the cushion and the breast x-rayed without it.
Nearly three-quarters of the women (73.5 percent) reported a significant decrease in discomfort in the breast imaged with the cushion. Among those women, the average reported decrease was 47 percent. Subjects in the study also tolerated greater compression of the cushioned breast. The increased degree of compression was 14 percent.