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Release: Dec. 31, 2002

Women are invited to participate in study evaluating digital mammography

Women with no known breast problems are invited to participate in a study to determine whether digital mammography is as good as or better than standard screen-film mammography at detecting breast cancer.

The University of Iowa is one of 20 sites nationwide and in Canada participating in the Digital Mammography Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST), which is funded by the National Cancer Institute and conducted by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network. Laurie Fajardo, M.D., UI professor and head of radiology, is lead investigator at the UI.

Digital mammography is a new technology, which differs from standard mammography in that the images are recorded on a computer rather than on film. The study aims to find out whether digital mammography can detect breast cancer more accurately than the standard method.

Women who enroll in the study will have both a standard and a digital mammography exam. From the patient's point of view, both procedures are similar. The same certified radiological technologist will conduct both types of examinations and board-certified radiologists with special expertise in mammography will interpret the mammograms independently.

Participants will be entered into the study at the time of their regular screening mammogram and will be asked to return in one year for a follow-up standard mammogram. Participants may also be contacted by telephone during the two to three years after the initial exams to determine if they have had normal mammograms and clinical breast exams.

Participants will also be asked for their permission to partake in a 20-year follow-up study. The participants will either receive mailings or telephone calls about once every year. A representative from the American College of Radiology Imaging Network, the clinical research organization managing this trial, will contact the participant for information. The participant will be asked about their health, recent mammography and any clinical breast exams that they have had. This information will be used for research purposes and it will be added to the information obtained from the study.

Certain women are not eligible to participate in the study, including women with breast implants, women who are pregnant or who may be pregnant, women scheduled for a diagnostic or problem-solving mammogram, women who have known breast problems such as lumps or discharges, and women who have had breast cancer in the past who have been treated with lumpectomy.

For more information about the Digital Mammography Imaging Screening Trial, call Sandra Kain at (319) 353 7087 or contact the National Cancer Institute by calling toll free (800) 4-CANCER. Information about the study is also available online at or

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