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‘Digital mammography for breast cancer screening most accurate’
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2019.12.18 15:28
  • Updated 2019.12.18 15:28
  • comments 0

A team of researchers at the National Cancer Center has proved through big data that digital mammography for breast cancer is the most accurate screening method.

Professors Hong Se-ri (left) and Jun Jae-kwan

The team, led by Professors Hong Se-ri and Jun Jae-kwan at the hospital, reached the conclusion after analyzing the data from eight million women who were screened for breast cancer under the national cancer screening plan. The national screening plan allows Korean women over 40 to receive a mammography every two years, and more than four million people benefit from the program every year.

Mammography is divided into digital, computed radiography, and film methods according to image acquisition, display, and storage methods. By ratio, patients received computed radiography the most with 48.2 percent, followed by digital (34.4 percent) and film (17.2 percent).

However, the team found that the accuracy of the inspection varied depending on the equipment.

According to the researchers, the digital method had higher sensitivity and positive predictive value than the film or CR method, with digital breast cancer screenings 1.7 times more sensitive and 1.3 times more accurate than other methods.

Notably, the team obtained consistent results regardless of the age of the examinee and breast density, which affect the accuracy of breast cancer screening.

“The results contradict the existing local and international studies that have concluded that high degree of accuracy is observed only in young patients’ breasts with high density,” the team said.

Professor Jun also said, “Breast cancer screening using digital mammography equipment is safe and effective because accurate readings reduce unnecessary extra testing. We recommend women, particularly those in their 40s and 50s with high breast density to undergo digital screening for breast cancer.”

The findings will be used as an important resource for revising breast cancer screening recommendations, Jun added.

The results of the research were published in Radiology.


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