Study Compares DBT With Digital Mammography Screening

Digital breast tomosynthesis linked to lower risk of advanced breast cancer for women with extremely dense breasts, high risk for breast cancer

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WEDNESDAY, June 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with digital mammography, digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is not associated with a significant difference in the risk of interval invasive cancer or advanced cancer among women who are not at high risk, according to a study published in the June 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Karla Kerlikowske, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues conducted a cohort study involving 504,427 women aged 40 to 79 years who underwent 1,003,900 screening digital mammography and 375,189 screening DBT examinations from 2011 through 2018.

The researchers observed no significant difference for interval invasive cancer rates per 1,000 examinations for DBT versus digital mammography, or among all 836,250 examinations with Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) five-year risk <1.67 percent, or among all the 413,061 examinations with BCSC five-year risk of 1.67 percent or higher across breast density categories. Among women at low-to-average risk or at high risk with almost entirely fatty, scattered fibroglandular densities, or heterogeneously dense breasts, advanced cancer rates were not significantly different for DBT versus digital mammography. For the 3.6 percent of women with extremely dense breasts and at high risk of breast cancer, advanced cancer rates were significantly lower per 1,000 examinations for DBT versus digital mammography, but not for women at low-to-average risk.

"Screening with DBT versus digital mammography was associated with a significantly lower risk of advanced breast cancer (prognostic pathologic stage II or higher) among women with extremely dense breasts and high risk of breast cancer," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to industry.

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