Study Shows 3D Mammograms Outperform 2D Mammograms in Detecting Breast Cancer

The results of this study resonate other results, suggesting that 3D mammograms are more accurate than 2D mammograms and may help 3D mammography become part of routine breast cancer screening.

A new study found that compared with traditional 2D mammograms, 3D mammograms can detect more breast cancers and offer fewer false positives, according to research published in the journal Radiology.

The results of this study resonate other results, suggesting that 3D mammograms are more accurate than 2D mammograms and may help 3D mammography become part of routine breast cancer screening, according to the study authors.

The objective of the study was to help ease concerns about the value of 3D mammograms versus traditional 2D mammograms, since many radiologists believe that 3D mammograms are better for breast cancer screening.

The researchers analyzed the results of 67,350 screening mammograms that were done in 29,310 women between September 2011 and September 2016. On average, the women were approximately 56 years old; 56,839 were mammograms were 3D and 10,511 were 2D mammograms.

Breast cancer detection rates were 6 per 1000 women screened with 3D mammography and 5.1 per 1000 women screened with 2D mammography, according to the study authors.

Although the difference favors 3D mammograms, it was not statistically significant, according to the researchers. Nearly 33% of the cancers found by 3D mammograms were considered to have a poorer prognosis comopared with 25% of cancers found by the 2D mammograms.

"We showed that the improved performance with [3D mammography] was maintained over multiple years," said Emily Conant, MD, professor and chief of breast imaging in the Department of Radiology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in a statement. "This is the longest follow-up with cancer registry matching that has been published thus far."

REFERENCE

3D mammograms outperform traditional 2D mammograms, five-year study shows. Breastcancer.org. https://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/3d-mammos-outperform-2d-per-5-yr-study. Published March 20, 2020. Accessed April 13, 2020.