Breast cancer screening trial shows digital mammogram benefits

median age was 54 took part. Each woman was given both digital and film screenings. Then they were randomized so that half had the digital exam first, the other half had the film exam first. Two different radiologists independently interpreted the mammograms.

Doctors determined participants' breast cancer status through follow-up mammography or available biopsy results. Biopsy information was available within 15 months of study entry. Mammograms were taken 10 months or later after study entry.

Barbara Schepps, M.D., oversaw DMIST at Rhode Island Hospital (RIH), a major trauma center for southeastern New England and the largest teaching hospital of Brown Medical School. The site enrolled 642 participants.

A radiologist and director of the Anne C. Pappas Center for Breast Imaging at RIH, Schepps said, "With this new information, we are going to strive to convert all our units to digital as soon as possible. While the study doesn't show that digital mammography benefits all women, it clearly makes a difference for younger women, a population that is known to be difficult to examine because they tend to have denser breasts.

"The important message is that all women get screened annually whether with digital or conventional mammography," said Schepps, a clinical professor at Brown Medical School.

The study's principal investigator and senior author of the article, is Etta Pisano, M.D., the Kenan Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering at the University of North CarolinaChapel Hill. Pisano directs the Biomedical Research Imaging Center at the UNC and is a member of the UNC-Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The National Cancer Institute funded DMIST. According to institute statistics, breast cancer is the most common non-skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. An estimated 211,240 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and an estimated 40,410 wome

Contact: Wendy Lawton
Brown University

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