Digital mammography a strong weapon against breast cancer
The rise of digital mammography has been an important step towards increasing the diagnosis of breast cancer even in difficult cases and has contributed to the drop in deaths related to the disease, HealthDay/Yahoo! News reports. From 1990 to 2002, the yearly breast cancer mortality rate dropped by 2.3 percent, according to statistics from the American Cancer Society (ACS). Though doctors will diagnose around 212,920 cases of breast cancer by the end of 2006, and an estimated 41,000 women will likely succumb to the disease, it is hoped that digital mammography will help drive down the death rate further. The digital exams provide for more manipulation of a breast x-ray exam than was possible with film mammography, said Carol Lee, MD, a professor of diagnostic radiology at Yale University School of Medicine and head of the American College of Radiology’s breast imaging commission. Last year, the results of the Digital Mammography Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST) were released, which revealed that digital mammograms are better than analog x-rays in detecting breast cancer in younger women and those with dense breasts. However, for the majority of the population, there is no difference in detection using analog or digital mammography, the study found.