September 16, 2005

Digital mammograms better than film for some-study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Digital mammograms are more accurate
at detecting breast cancer than traditional film mammograms in
women who are premenopausal, under age 50, or who have dense
breasts, according to results from a study of nearly 43,000
women released on Friday.

For other women, there was no difference between the two
methods, researchers wrote in a study published online by the
New England Journal of Medicine.

Traditional mammograms that have been used for decades
produce X-ray images of the breast on film. Digital mammograms
take electronic pictures that are stored on a computer. They
have been available since 2000.

The new study compared film mammograms to digital
mammograms from systems made by Fischer Imaging, Fuji Photo
Film Co. Ltd., General Electric Co. and Hologic Inc.. All but
the Fuji system are approved by the Food and Drug
Administration and available for use in the United States.

All types of digital mammography systems that were studied
produced similar results.