Comparing 2D and 3D Mammogram Screenings for Breast Cancer – Medical News Bulletin


A study evaluating the risks and benefits of 3D mammogram screening aims to help physicians select the appropriate screening method for their patients.

Breast cancer screening through mammography has allowed physicians to detect and track tumours before they become life-threatening, thus saving many lives. The type of screening used in practice will depend on how early and how many tumours the screening method can detect. A 3D mammogram may detect more tumours than a 2D mammogram.

Researchers from the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group and the National Cancer Institute are developing a clinical trial to compare the benefits and harms of a 2D versus 3D mammogram. Although 3D mammography shows promising detection rates, it is unknown whether the increased sensitivity of this screening method translates to reducing a woman’s risk of developing advanced, life-threatening breast cancer.

According to the article, published in Dotmed, the main purpose of this trial is to determine how to individualize screening for women in different population groups based on their own inherent breast cancer risk factors and their genetic make-up. The results from this study will inform physicians on how to tailor screening to their individual female patients rather than using a “one size fits all” method, where all women are screened using the same strategy.

The women in the study will be assigned to be screened using either a 2D or 3D mammogram. The researchers will note the diversity of the participants based on geography location sites, race, and ethnicity. For those women who undergo biopsies during the study period, the research group will collect tissue samples. This will allow for the team to determine how often a cancer diagnosis is detected from screening abnormalities and to evaluate the possibility over-diagnosis. The results from this study will help women and their doctors make more informed decisions on screening methods for breast cancer.

Written by Jessica Caporuscio, PharmD

Reference: Fischer, J. Researchers to assess benefits of 3-D mamma versus 2-D. Health Care Business Daily News. Website: . Published October 5, 2017.

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