Combining 3D mammography with a digital mammogram increases detection rates for breast cancer while reducing the rate of women called back for unnecessary testing or procedures, suggests a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers evaluated records for 454,850 examinations at 13 breast centers across the United States before and after they added the new 3D procedure, called tomosynthesis. They compared rates of recall, biopsies and cancer detection. The recall rate per 1,000 screens was 107 for mammography alone, compared to 91 when tomosynthesis was added, a relative reduction of 15%. The cancer detection rate per 1,000 women screened was 4.2 for mammography alone, compared to 5.4 with tomosynthesis, a relative increase of 29%. Further, when tomosynthesis was added, the detection rate for invasive cancer rose from 2.9 to 4.1 per 1,000, a relative increase of 41%. More study is still needed, say the authors, to assess the effect of tomosynthesis on long-term clinical outcomes. Read the article.

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