By Susan M. Keenan
Digital mammography is more successful than traditional film mammography in detecting breast cancer. Initially, digital mammography was only more effective in detecting breast cancer in women with smaller size breasts. However, advances in its technology have made it possible for digital mammography to be just as effective with breasts of all sizes.
No longer are hospitals forced to use both types of screening due to variations in breast sizes. The initial digital imaging machines contained image receptors that were too small to be effective in capturing a full image of large size breasts. Large breasts for this discussion are classified as any breast that reaches a “D” cup or larger.
The superior diagnostic techniques that are needed to detect breast cancer in its earlier stages are now provided with the advanced digital imaging capabilities of digital mammography. Original mammography methods were much slower since film had to be developed before any diagnosis could be made.
With this newer process, the images of breasts are captured electronically. This leads to faster results and quicker diagnosis. Additionally, this type of mammography provides an improved contrast between non-dense and dense areas of breast tissue. This allows for a better diagnostic determination.
In fact, the digital images can be searched for signs of mass or calcifications using special software. If anything shows such as an abnormality, the area is marked for further consideration by the radiologist. One of the benefits for hospitals using digital mammography is that the results are easier to store and retrieve.
Introductory blurb: Fortunately, advances in technology have made it possible for hospitals to offer digital mammography to all women. This means a better opportunity to discover breast cancer sooner.