National Mammography Database becomes the fastest growing mammo registry in the U.S.

study published by the American Journal of Roentgenology concluded that the National Mammography Database (NMD) has become the fastest growing mammography registry in the United States, surpassing the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC).

Breast cancer stands as the second most common cancer in women in the U.S. In 2014, an estimated 200,000 women were diagnosed with this disease and 40,000 women died from it. The purpose of this study was to analyze screening mammography data submitted by the NMD, confirm data collection feasibility, to draw parallels to data from the BCSC, and to examine trends over time.

The most recent large-scale study was reported in 2006 on performance benchmarks for screening mammography in the U.S. by using data collected by the BCSC. “However, the scope of BCSC data collection has changed as a result of shifting funding priorities; BCSC mammography data collection began to decline in 2009, by which time funding was concentrated on specific data analysis projects, although mammography case accrual continued,” wrote Cindy Lee, MD, of the University of California-San Francisco, and colleagues.

The BCSC provided a valuable resource for initiatives investigating risk assessment, advanced imaging, screening disparities, risk-based screening, and other priority areas, but has not reported benchmark data for public use since 2009.

That’s where the NMD comes into play. Established in 2008, the NMD was designed as a quality improvement tool to enable mammography facilities and individual radiologists to compare their mammography performance against that of their peers locally, regionally, and nationally. NMD data collection is automated, using mammography outcomes already collected by the facilities and generates up-to-date national and regional performance benchmarks for mammography.

In the current study, a total of 90 mammographic facilities, 3,181,437 examinations and 1,865,300 women were included in the analysis. Through the analysis. the authors found the NMD could provide audit statistics that parallel those generated by the BCSC for benchmarking in screening mammography. 

“Since 2010, the NMD has become the fastest accruing national-scope mammography database in the United States and one of the most useful sources for benchmarking data for several reasons. First, although the total study population of the NMD database is smaller than that of the longer existing BCSC, the annual accrual rate of the NMD surpassed that of the BCSC in 2010 with continuing rapid growth, indicating the relative strength of the NMD in collecting current, ongoing mammography outcomes data. In addition, the rapid growth in NMD accrual suggests that the NMD will soon surpass the BCSC in total database size,” wrote Lee and colleagues.