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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 11/18/02
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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University of Cincinnati Chosen as Digital Mammography Study Site

Cincinnati--The University of Cincinnati has been chosen as one of the sites for a nationwide study of the effectiveness of digital mammography. The University Hospital Barrett Cancer Center is now enrolling women in the Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial sponsored by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network and funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute. University Hospital is part of the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati.

The aim of the study is to involve 49,500 women in the United States and Canada in a comparison of digital mammography to traditional, standard film mammography. Women who are eligible for the study must meet the following requirements:

  • No new breast lump.
  • No bloody or clear nipple discharge.
  • No previous breast cancer treated with lumpectomy; previous mastectomy OK.
  • No breast implants.
  • Not pregnant.

All mammographic studies for the trial will be performed at the University Hospital Barrett Cancer Center. The University Hospital is part of The Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati. Any woman who is interested in the digital mammography study can call (513) 475-7777 to be scheduled. There are no age limits for this study, but participants must check with their insurance company to see if they will pay for your regular mammogram. Qualified participants will receive the digital mammogram free if it is done at the time of their regular mammogram.

Mary Mahoney, MD, associate professor of radiology, is the principal investigator for the UC study. She states, "Digital mammography has the potential to provide better detection of early breast cancer, but a large study such as this is needed to determine how the new technique compares to standard mammography." Dr. Mahoney explained that digital mammography uses computers and specially designed detectors to produce a digital image of the breast that can be displayed on high-resolution monitors. One possible advantage of digital mammography is that it may be more effective in detecting cancers in women with dense breasts.

This new technique may result in the need for fewer repeat images to resolve potential areas of abnormality. Images are evaluated with computers and can be electronically enhanced. Although the equipment for digital screening mammography costs more than film mammography, there may be fewer repeat images or additional office visits with the new technique and this would save money in the long run as well as lessen patient anxiety.

Dr. Mahoney stresses that the Barrett Center wants to begin enrolling women in the study immediately. "We hope to enroll 2,000 women from the Tristate region in this important and ambitious study because the results of this trial will guide women's breast care nationwide in the future."

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