Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Tomosynthesis reduces breast cancer screening recall rate

Digital tomosynthesis is an effective tool for reducing the recall rate in breast cancer screening, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.

Digital mammography is the gold standard for breast cancer screening, but may yield suspicious findings that turn out not to be cancer. These false-positive findings are associated with a higher recall rate, or the rate at which women are called back for additional imaging or biopsy.

Digital breast tomosynthesis has shown promise at reducing recall rates, particularly in younger women and in those with dense breast tissue. Tomosynthesis is similar to mammography in that it relies on ionizing radiation to generate images of the breast. However, unlike conventional mammography, tomosynthesis allows for three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction of the breast tissue, which can then be viewed as sequential slices through the breast.

"Tomosynthesis increases the conspicuity of cancers by removing superimposed and overlapping tissue from the view," said Brian M. Haas, M.D., from Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.

In the study, Dr. Haas worked with Liane E. Philpotts, M.D., also of Yale University, and other colleagues to compare screening recall rates and cancer detection rates in two groups of women: those who received conventional digital mammography alone and those who had tomosynthesis in addition to mammography.

Of the 13,158 patients who underwent screening mammography, 6,100 received tomosynthesis. The cancer detection rate was 5.7 per 1,000 in patients receiving tomosynthesis, compared with 5.2 per 1,000 in patients receiving mammography alone. The addition of tomosynthesis resulted in a 30 percent reduction in the overall recall rate, from 12.0 percent for mammography alone to 8.4 percent in the tomosynthesis group.

"All age groups and breast densities had reduced risk for recall in the tomosynthesis group," Dr. Haas said. "Women with dense breasts and those younger than age 50 particularly benefited from tomosynthesis."

Lower recall rates help reduce patient anxiety and also reduce costs from additional diagnostic examinations, Dr. Haas said.

Tomosynthesis has one significant drawback: a radiation dose approximately double that of digital mammography alone. However, Dr. Haas noted that new technology approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could reduce the dose.

"The technology involves taking the tomosynthesis data and collapsing it into planar imaging that resembles 2-D mammography," he said. "It has the potential to eliminate the need for acquisition of the conventional 2-D images in addition to the tomosynthesis images."

The research group is currently in the process of comparing the cancers found on tomosynthesis with those found on mammography. They are also tracking the study group for interval cancers—those that develop in the interval between screenings—to make sure that the reduced recall rate associated with tomosynthesis is not resulting in missed cancers.

"Comparison of Tomosynthesis Plus Digital Mammography and Digital Mammography Alone for Breast Cancer Screening." Collaborating with Drs. Haas and Philpotts were Vivek Kalra, M.D., Jaime Geisel, M.D., Madhavi Raghu, M.D., and Melissa Durand, M.D.

Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc.

RSNA is an association of more than 51,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (

For patient-friendly information on breast imaging, visit

Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>