Superior Cancer Screening?

By Health Day

Updated Oct 3, 2012 at 8:00 AM EDT

It is estimated that nearly 40-thousand women in the U.S. lost their lives to breast cancer in 2011, though death rates have been decreasing since 1990 Ñ especially in patients under 50.

That positive trend is believed to be because of better treatments, and early detection.

Mammograms are the preferred diagnostic test...but according to a new study, digital mammograms, may be a better tool than screen film for detection.

Researchers in the Netherlands looked at more than 1 million tests with nearly 19-thousand patients called back for a second look.

The more sensitive, digital mammography improved detection of life-threatening cancer by a full 8-percentage points... and it did so without increasing detection of low-grade lesions, which can lead to possible over-diagnosis.

The study -just published online in the journal Radiology-concludes that digital mammography is substantially better than screen film mammography.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news doctors are reading, health news that matters to you.

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