MITA Says New JAMA Research Confirms the Significant Value of 3D Mammography in Breast Cancer Screening

06.26.14

Washington, D.C. – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) today said that a study in the June 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) confirms the value of digital 3D mammography (breast tomosynthesis) in increasing the invasive breast cancer detection rate while decreasing the rate of false positives.

“This study confirms that advanced imaging is effective in finding more invasive cancers early, when they are most treatable,” said Gail Rodriguez, executive director of MITA. “The results are also dramatic when translated into real world numbers. Using 3D could keep hundreds of thousands of women from suffering the anxiety and lost work time of a recall and at the same time lead to significant cost savings.”

The landmark study, “Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in Combination with Digital Mammography,” was led by Sarah M. Friedewald, MD of the Caldwell Breast Center, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois and included a total of 454,850 examinations (281,187 conventional mammograms compared to 173,663 3D mammography exams).

The study addressed the two most frequently cited concerns with breast cancer screening – that it identifies too many cancers that don’t need to be treated and that too many women are being called back for unnecessary additional testing. Notably, it found that 3D mammography resulted in a 41 percent increase in the detection of invasive breast cancers and a 49 percent increase in Positive Predictive Value (PPV) for a recall.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. In 2014 alone, an estimated 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S., 40,000 will die from the disease.

“We must continue to advocate for access to innovative technologies like 3D mammography to ensure that all women are able to reap the benefits of early detection and accurate diagnosis,” Rodriguez added.

To learn more about how advances in medical imaging have led to dramatically improved health outcomes for women with breast cancer and other diseases, see MITA’s Medical Imaging & Women’s Health fact sheet.

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The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of NEMA, is the collective voice of medical imaging equipment, radiation therapy and radiopharmaceutical manufacturers, innovators and product developers. It represents companies whose sales comprise more than 90 percent of the global market for medical imaging and radiation therapy technologies. For more information, visit www.medicalimaging.org. Follow MITA on Twitter @MITAToday.