Mammography Essay

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Mammography has long been the gold standard in breast health screening. Even with advancements in other diagnostic imaging, mammography remains the only screening tool that is proven to decrease the mortality rate of breast cancer by 15%-35%. Even used alone, it has a sensitivity of 84.9% and a specificity of 90.3%. However, there has been extensive research into improving breast imaging techniques because it has been shown that mammography can miss 10% to 30% of cancers due to dense breast tissue. Currently, ultrasound is the secondary imaging test to follow suspicious findings on mammography. Some facilities are starting to use digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) which is a newer technology that has promising results, especially for women…show more content…
The goals of multiple studies were to show the potential to use DBT to reduce the recall rate for diagnostic mammography views after an abnormality on screening views. One study (Gur et al., 2009) showed a 30% reduction in recall rate where a combination of full-field digital mammography and DBT was used, and a 10% reduction with DBT used alone. Another study (Rose et al., 2013) showed an increase in invasive cancer detection and a decrease in recall rates when DBT was used in the screening environment. Some lesions can only be seen with DBT, termed DBT predominant lesions, and when undetected on ultrasound, further evaluation becomes difficult. Some DBT device companies have created a biopsy attachment that can locate DBT predominant lesions using X, Y, and Z coordinates. This is done by clicking on the lesion in the image and the machine will automatically locate the lesion using the X and Y axes, then the radiologist manually adjusts the machine for the Z axis.
Of course the major drawback with DBT is the amount of radiation exposure to the patient. It is estimated that the dose for a single view DBT contains about half the amount of radiation that diagnostic mammography views expose to the patient. New methods, including a new type of 2D image that is produced from 3D slices, are actively being evaluated in order to reduce radiation exposure. Over all, this and many other studies have shown the promise benefits
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