TUESDAY, Dec. 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Digital mammography (DM) has increased the overall cancer detection rate by 14 percent, with higher detection rates for grade 1 and 2 invasive cancers, according to research published online Dec. 11 in Radiology.

Roger G. Blanks, Ph.D., from Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of annual screening data from 2009-2010 to 2015-2016 for 80 facilities of the English National Health Service Breast Screening Program and estimates of DM usage. The authors assessed the estimated percentage and absolute change in detection rates due to DM among 11.3 million screening episodes for women aged 45 to 70 years.

The researchers found that with DM, the overall cancer detection rate was 14 percent greater. Higher rates of detection were seen for grade 1 and 2 invasive cancers (ductal and lobular), while no change was seen in grade 3 invasive cancer detection. Almost no change was seen in the recall rate with DM introduction. For women aged 45 to 52 years, DM increased the overall detection rate by 19 percent at prevalent (first) screening episodes and by 13 percent for incident screening episodes in women aged 53 to 70 years.

“Future studies should seek to determine how digital mammography could be improved to increase detection of grade 3 invasive cancers,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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