EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 31 AUGUST 2000 AT 17:00 ET US
Research shows radiologists will need different programs for digital mammography to work best
CHAPEL HILL - For doctors to take best advantage of new digital mammography and possibly save more women from breast cancer, companies that manufacture the technology need to create new, more sophisticated computer programs, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists say.
That's because a team of researchers led by Drs. Etta Pisano, professor of radiology at the UNC-CH School of Medicine, has found that radiologists prefer different kinds of images for evaluating different types of breast tissue abnormalities. "Before we did our study, we thought that a certain type of lesion and a certain kind of breast density, for example, would require only one type of processing," said Pisano, also chief of breast imaging at UNC-CH and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. "Now, we think displaying images will be more complicated. To get full use out of digital mammography machines, companies are going to have to put some resources into optimizing images for different tasks."
An image processing program that reveals calcifications in the breast will be different from one that helps doctors evaluate those calcifications once they've been found, she said. The same holds true for cancerous breast tumors.
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