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Fall 2005

Recent Study Shows Benefits of Digital Mammography

A landmark study, in which UCLA participated, has shown that digital mammograms are 15 to 28 percent more effective than standard film mammograms in detecting tumors in women under 50, those with dense breast tissue and women entering menopause. Women in these three groups are more likely to have fastgrowing, aggressive tumors that need to be detected early to be cured.

“There is no question in my mind that this will be the mammography of the future,” says Lawrence Bassett, M.D., director of the Iris Cantor Center for Breast Cancer Imaging at UCLA. Since the study was conducted, digital mammography has improved, suggesting that it could also prove beneficial for post-menopausal women.

UCLA is among the first medical centers in the nation to offer all-digital mammography. Digital mammography uses computers and specially designed detectors to produce a digital image of the breast that can be displayed on high-resolution monitors. Standard mammography records images on film. Recorded digital data can be enhanced, magnified or manipulated for further evaluation and can be sent to other experts via computer.

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