The Digital Mammography Cost and Its Practicality

Mammography is the process of diagnosing the symptoms of breast cancer in women. It is a process that uses low-dose amplitude X- rays to examine the human breast. Through mammography, the detection of the micro calcifications or characteristic masses is done that indicates the presence of the breast cancer among women. A latest addition in the field of mammography is the full field digital mammography (FFDM). The full field digital mammography allows the usual advantages of the digital mammography modalities like the distribution, sharing as well as the access through any of the web connected computer and its integration with the patient’s electronic medical record.

In order to avail the full advantages of the digital mammography, it has to be integrated with the other medical information technology that includes the general picture archiving and communication systems (PACS). The radiologist reads the images and manipulates them on the PACS and then distributes the reports from the PACS.  Although a lot more sophisticated procedure than the traditional mammography, the digital mammography cost is an issue that needs to be debated. Many researches have been done in order to know the cost-effectiveness of the digital mammography in comparison with the film mammography screening. The researches are done on the basis of the cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained.

On the basis of the results that are obtained from these researches, it has been found that the all digital mammography cost $331000 per QALY. It has been found that the all-digital mammography screening and all film mammography screening is more costly as well as less effective than the targeted digital mammography screening.
Some of the conclusions of the research that has been done are that in comparison with the all-film mammography screening, the all digital mammography screening is not at all cost-effective. In comparison, the age targeted screening with digital mammography is cost-effective and efficient.

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