Dedicated Screening Mammography for Diagnosis of Small Breast Cancer Academic Article uri icon


  • Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women, and early diagnosis is a cornerstone of successful treatment. Mammography is the sole acceptable method for breast cancer screening, but its efficacy is still disputable. The aim of this study was to determine whether the influence of dedicated mammographic team skills could improve the diagnostic accuracy of screening mammography and detection of small breast cancers. From June 1992 to September 1996 a total of 17,393 screening mammograms and 335 mammographically guided needle-localization breast biopsies were performed. From August 1994, a dedicated mammographer commenced work in our hospital. Screening mammography and biopsy results were compared for the nondedicated period (NDP) and the dedicated period (DP). The biopsy rate decreased from 2.9% to 1.3% (p < 0.0001), and the positive biopsy rate increased from 26.3% to 48.2% (p < 0.0001) during the respective periods. The cancer detection rate not changed significantly (p = 0.27) through the whole study period, but the subgroup of small carcinomas (T0, T1a, T1b) increased significantly (p < 0.04), from 25 cases in the NDP to 40 cases in the DP. We concluded that dedicated mammography team skills can significantly improve the detection of small breast cancers and permit more effective diagnosis of breast cancer by reducing the number of breast biopsies ultimately found to be benign.

publication date

  • January 1, 2004