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Volume 8 Supplement 1

Symposium Mammographicum 2006

  • Oral Presentation
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Evaluation of digital mammography: update on the UK position

There is general acceptance that digital mammography screening will eventually replace the current analogue systems. Before this technology is introduced more widely for breast screening, however, assurances need to be made that it can improve or at least equal, the existing system in both quality and performance [1]. It is not simply a matter of replacing the existing mammography sets with digital systems. The Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer Screening supported setting up a multiprofessional Digital Steering Group to bring together the relevant expertise in breast screening and digital systems. The aim of the group was to identify areas of work required to be undertaken prior to implementation of digital systems in the screening service. The group had representation from England, Wales, Scotland and the private sector.

Six areas of work were identified: technical parameters, clinical parameters, information issues, purchasing, training, and screening on mobiles. The Digital Steering Group of the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme (NHSBSP) has concluded that all the direct digital mammography systems tested by the NHSBSP meet the image quality and dose standards in the European Guidelines for Digital Mammography [2].

Only one of the computed radiography systems tested by the NHSBSP meets these standards. However, testing and evaluation of the new designs is ongoing.


  1. Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer Screening: Screening for Breast Cancer in England. 2006, NHS Cancer Screening Programmes Publication 61

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  2. Van Engen R, Young KC, Bosmans H, Thijssen M: The European protocol for the quality control of the physical and technical aspects of mammography screening. Part B: Digital mam-mography. European Guidelines for Breast Cancer Screening. 2005, Luxembourg: European Commission,, 4, ,

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Cush, S. Evaluation of digital mammography: update on the UK position. Breast Cancer Res 8 (Suppl 1), P2 (2006).

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