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Black American women less likely to get superior 3-D mammograms

Despite the fact that Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) is considered to be the “better mammogram” for breast cancer screening and is becoming the standard of care in the U.S., Black women were less likely to receive this screening and more likely to receive conventional mammography.

That was the finding of a recent study of more than 385,000 women undergoing more than 800,000 screenings for breast cancer in the United States from 2015 through January 2019.

Digital breast tomosynthesis, also called three-dimensional (3-D) mammography, uses a low-dose x-ray system and computer reconstructions to create three-dimensional images of the breasts.

“Our study revealed significant racial disparities in who receives this superior technology,” said Emily Conant of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

“The data suggests that this disparity in access, coupled with the known increase in breast cancer mortality among Black women, is an urgent issue that should be addressed. Improving access to DBT may help improve the effectiveness of breast cancer screening for Black women.”

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