125 years of X-rays: Breast cancer is the main cancer found in women – and early detection is the key to improving breast cancer outcomes and survival rates. Screening mammography has come a long way, both in terms of organization and technology: from modified regular X-ray systems to dedicated mammography and tomosynthesis systems and the support of artificial intelligence.
In breast cancer screening programs, such as the one running in the Netherlands, a high volume of mammography data is acquired. Radiologists have to evaluate hundreds of images every day with precision and often under time pressure. Artificial intelligence (AI) offers radiologists smart support.
New imaging approaches such as tomosynthesis and abbreviated MRI are suitable to overcome the limitations of mammography. Experts believe that these possibilities should ultimately be integrated into screening strategies tailored to personal risk.
As data volumes in mammography are continually growing, especially with the increased use of tomosynthesis, powerful software is vital for radiology. In Denmark, an intelligent network infrastructure facilitates cooperation among various mammography clinics.
Mammography can be a source of anxiety for the patient. In Denmark, one university hospital is putting great emphasis on making breast examinations more comfortable, while at the same time enabling more personalized care with improved diagnostic accuracy.
Developments in imaging technologies such as breast MRI and automatic ultrasound may help to individualize cancer detection and improve survival. Key factors are multimodal, but time-saving, workflows that enable risk-adapted approaches on a routine basis.
Experts at the European Congress of Radiology explained that new mammographic methods could take breast cancer detection to a new level. More specifically, optimized tomosynthesis protocols and contrast-enhanced images offer promising possibilities.