The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), said that a study in the June 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) confirms the value of digital 3D mammography (breast tomosynthesis) in increasing the invasive breast cancer detection rate while decreasing the rate of false positives.
“This study confirms that advanced imaging is effective in finding more invasive cancers early, when they are most treatable,” said MITA Executive Director Gail Rodriguez. “The results are also dramatic when translated into real world numbers. Using 3D could keep hundreds of thousands of women from suffering the anxiety and lost work time of a recall and at the same time lead to significant cost savings.”
The landmark study, “Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in Combination with Digital Mammography,” was led by Sarah M. Friedewald, MD, of the Caldwell Breast Center, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, and included a total of 454,850 examinations (281,187 conventional mammograms compared to 173,663 3D mammography exams).
The study addressed the two most frequently cited concerns with breast cancer screening—that it identifies too many cancers that don’t need to be treated and that too many women are being called back for unnecessary additional testing. Notably, it found that 3D mammography resulted in a 41 percent increase in the detection of invasive breast cancers and a 49 percent increase in Positive Predictive Value for a recall.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. In 2014 alone, an estimated 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. and 40,000 will die from the disease.
“We must continue to advocate for access to innovative technologies like 3D mammography to ensure that all women are able to reap the benefits of early detection and accurate diagnosis,” Rodriguez added.
To learn more about how advances in medical imaging have led to dramatically improved health outcomes for women with breast cancer and other diseases, see MITA’s Medical Imaging & Women’s Health
NEMA is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Rosslyn, Virginia. Its nearly 400 member companies manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems. Total U.S. shipments for electroindustry products exceed $100 billion annually.
Phallan K. Davis