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In an effort to determine if pathologic findings of screen-detected and interval cancers differ for digital versus film mammography, the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) data from 2003-2011 was used. Over 3 million screening mammograms (40.3% digital, 59.7% film) for women aged 40-89 years were reviewed. Among 15,729 breast cancers, 85.3% were screen detected and 14.7% were interval. Digital and film mammography had similar rates of  screen-detected (4.47 vs. 4.42 per 1000 examinations) and interval (0.73 vs. 0.79 per 1000 examinations) cancers. In adjusted analyses, interval cancers diagnosed after digital examinations with negative findings were less likely to be American Joint Committee on Cancer stage IIB or higher (odds ratio, 0.69), to have positive nodal status (odds ratio, 0.78), or to be estrogen receptor negative (odds ratio, 0.71) than interval cancers diagnosed after a film examination with negative findings. In conclusion, this study determined that screen-detected cancers diagnosed after digital and film mammography have similar rates of unfavorable tumor characteristics. Also, interval-detected cancers diagnosed after a digital examination are less likely to have unfavorable tumor features than those diagnosed after film mammography, but the absolute differences are small.

To read more, see the following article on the Am J Roentgenol website: Breast Cancer Characteristics Associated with Digital versus Film-Screen Mammography for Screen-Detected and Interval Cancers