B. Parker, R. Rajapakshe, A. Yip, T. Wight, N. Aldoff, J. Sam and C. Wilson


Abstract

Background: The Screening Mammography Program of British Columbia (SMPBC), Canada is a population based program that regularly performs quality assurance testing and outcomes analysis.

Methods: A study was conducted to analyze the trends in the SMPBC quality assurance data from 1994 onwards to investigate any correlation between improvements in image quality (IQ), changes in radiation dose delivered per screen and detection of breast cancers.

Results: Both IQ and cancer detection rates of invasive tumours ≤5 mm increased over 1994-2011 which came at the cost of a 127% increase in radiation dose delivered to the breast between 1994-2005 (IQ increased 21%, tumours ≤5 mm increased 107%). In subsequent years, as digital units started to replace film units the programs’ average IQ and CDRs remained unchanged, while the integration of digital units reduced the dose delivered at a populational level.

Conclusion: Improvements in IQ coincided with increased detection of small tumours.

 

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