Digital Mammography

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When mammography first took hold in the medical field, analog mammography was the gold standard for breast cancer detection. Digital mammography is now replacing the old analog mammography units. There are many concepts digital mammography has implemented into their new unit that came from analog mammography. The most basic concept is, x-rays pass through the breast. The breast tissue attenuates the x-ray photons in different degrees, which shows us different structures inside the breast. Cancer is demonstrated by being "whiter" than granular tissue, but detecting cancer varies among analog and digital. This is where digital mammography starts to become different than analog. Digital mammography didn't sell quick when the first data came out. The first results showed that there wasn't much difference between analog or digital. From 2001 to 2004, the ACRIN/DMIST conducted a study that proved digital mammography to be better than analog in …show more content…

Digital mammography is 1.5 to 4 times more expensive than analog mammography. Even with the prior improvements and studies conducted on digital mammography, hospitals are still hesitate to spend the money. For the digital mammography unit to pay for itself, a facility needs to perform 15,000 to 25,000 mammograms a year; and that is a hard goal to meet for rural hospitals. With the rural hospitals not being able to afford digital mammography units, most hospitals have to consolidate or give up mammography. This is the main reason analog is still thriving. Analog mammography still has some advantages over digital mammography. It is cost effective, radiologists are familiar with interpreting these images, and high-luminance view boxes improve the visualization of dense grandular tissue. The best advantage analog mammography has is the spatial resolution. With 20 to 22 lp/mm for analog versus the digital 8 to 10 lp/mm, the image is much sharper to visualize

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