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January 24, 2002

New technology benefits mammography

Magee-Womens Hospital has introduced computer aided detection, or CAD, that offers an added benefit to mammography in the detection of early breast cancer. CAD analyzes films from screening mammography to identify areas that contain the slightest abnormal or suspicious features and marks them for a radiologist to review.

Magee is the first facility in western Pennsylvania to introduce this technology.

"CAD has great potential because it gives radiologists a second pair of highly trained eyes," said Jules Sumkin, professor of radiology, Pitt School of Medicine, and chief of radiology, Magee-Womens Hospital.

Using a software program specifically designed to identify clusters of bright spots that suggest microcalcifications and patterns that suggest tissue masses or distortions, CAD is a technology used after a mammographic film has been generated.

Sumkin said, "CAD can help by identifying areas that may not have been initially spotted by the radiologist." He pointed out that CAD is designed as a companion to mammography screening, not as a replacement for it."

For further information, call 412/647-4747.

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