Screening mammography data provide yardstick to guide U.S. practices

September 26, 2006

New audit data that will allow benchmarking in screening mammography for U.S. practices are set to be published in the October 2006 issue of Radiology.

New audit data that will allow benchmarking in screening mammography for U.S. practices are set to be published in the October 2006 issue of Radiology.

Data from close to 200 facilities and 1.1 million women participating in the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) from1996 to 2002 show a good cancer detection rate of 4.8 per 1000 women, according to the study, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute. Most of the women participating in the study were aged 40 to 70 years.

The new screening mammography data will contribute to understanding about mammography best practice, which has not been fully defined in the U.S. Medical audit data may be used to measure performance and to implement changes to improve quality of services.

Data are based on 2.6 million screening mammograms read by about 800 radiologists at BCSC sites. The results reported in Radiology include the following conclusions:

  • about 10% of the screening studies were abnormal and referred for follow-up

  • biopsies revealed 34% malignancies, of which 78.4% were invasive cancers and 21.6% were ductal carcinoma in situ

  • of invasive cancers, 37.2% were small tumors, 41.6% were midsize, and 21.2% were large

Screening mammography data complement BSCC data on performance in diagnostic mammography, published by Sickles et al in Radiology in June 2005.

For more information, see the Diagnostic Imaging archives:

Screening mammography: Practitioners consider Europe in the quest for better quality

Centers of excellence could improve mammography's quality profile

Government highlights barriers to mammography in rural and some urban areas

CT-based technologies elevate mammography

Breast MRI can be cost-effective for some women