Study finds one kind of mammogram less effective at detecting breast cancer

TORONTO - A study looking at technology used for mammography has found that one type is less effective at detecting breast cancer than others.

The Cancer Care Ontario study found digital direct radiography and screen film mammograms are better than digital computed radiography mammograms at uncovering breast tumours.

The research concluded that computed radiography, or CR, is 21 per cent less effective at detecting breast cancer than digital radiography, or DR.

In response to the finding, Ontario's Ministry of Health is spending $25 million to phase out all CR devices and replace them with DR technology.

Cancer Care Ontario says the chance of undiagnosed cancer in women screened with mammography using CR is extremely low.

But the agency is asking mammography clinics to inform women last screened with that technology.

CR technology is used nationally and internationally, and currently accounts for 20 per cent of all mammography machines in Ontario.

The study of almost 690,000 women in the Ontario Breast Screening Program is published in the journal Radiology.