GE Healthcare’s goal is to deliver mammography systems with the best image quality for our clinicians, ultimately benefiting patients and their families. This is critical as we see the need to address the global health challenge that breast cancer presents. GE is proud of efforts to educate all people about the importance of digital mammography and to have urged the adoption of this important new technology when it was first introduced.
Beginning in 2001, the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) began the Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST), a two year, multi-vendor, multi – center study designed to compare digital and film mammography. DMIST showed that the overall diagnostic accuracy of digital and film mammography as a means of screening for breast cancer is similar, but that digital mammography is more accurate in women under the age of 50 years, women with radiographically dense breasts regardless of age and premenopausal or perimenopausal women.
Other international screening studies such as those in Norway and the United Kingdom, have shown improved diagnostic accuracy from digital mammography for all women regardless of age or breast density. Furthermore, digital mammography reduces radiation dose up to 30% as compared to its film-based counterpart.
There is considerable evidence that breast cancer screening saves lives in a wide range of populations. The benefits of early detection are proven for all women regardless of age. The current recommendation from NCI (National Cancer Institute) is that women 40 and older undergo annual mammograms to check for breast cancer. Scientific studies have acknowledged that since regular mammography became standard practice in the early 1990s, mortality from breast cancer—the second leading cause of cancer death among American women—has dropped by about 30%, after remaining constant for the prior half-century.
Many providers benefit as well from digital mammography. There is a high diagnostic confidence, and enhanced workflow benefits to deliver a tool to enhance quality patient care. The ability to adjust image viewing with digital images , reduces the number of retakes due to unreadable film exposures and speeds the diagnostic process. Digital mammography additionally improves access by providing radiologists with images from even remote locations and as such serves our rural communities.
As a leader in the healthcare industry we are committed to continuing our efforts to improve screening for breast disease. We are hopeful that we can continue to improve the detection of cancer at the earliest stages and are committed to providing better health overall through our healthymagination initiative.
We welcome your comments regarding this position – please contact Allison Cohen, Media Relations at GE Healthcare.
If you need more scientific information, here are some sites you might find of interest:
Society of Breast Imaging (SBI)
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
American College of Radiologists (ACR)
American Cancer Society
Susan G. Komen
National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC)