The technology is experimental, cautioned Robert Smith, director of cancer screening for the American Cancer Society. "One of the things that is appealing is comfort on the part of the patient," he said.
But, he added, if it is going to play a role in breast imaging, "it has to be just as accurate in finding breast cancer [as mammography], and should not generate a higher rate of false positives."
In other presentations at the meeting, University of Wisconsin researchers reported on improvements in tools to make a procedure called modulated electron therapy (MERT) more effective in treating tumors of the chest wall after mastectomy.
And University of Chicago researchers discussed a new automated computer image analysis technique that better characterizes and diagnoses early breast cancers. The computer program makes use of facts known about how lesions respond to injected contrast agents to help doctors describe the lesion's characteristics. For instance, malignant lesions wash out contrast material more quickly than benign ones.
To learn more about CT scans, visit the American College of Radiology.
SOURCES: John M. Boone, Ph.D., professor and vice chairman, radiology, and professor, biomedical engineering, University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento; Robert Smith, Ph.D., director, breast cancer screening, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; July 27-31, 2008, presentations, American Association of Physicists in Medicine annual meeting, Houston
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