Low-Radiation Mammograms Come to the US

Some decisions are easy (yes, I WILL have dessert). Others are not. Take the question of whether women in their 40s should get a mammogram. Some say yes, others say not necessarily. Add to the mix a certain daytime talk show host who suggested that radiation from mammograms could be contributing to increased rates of thyroid cancer, and it’s not surprising that many women are confused.

Yesterday, Swedish IT and med tech company Sectra announced it received FDA approval for a device that could assuage fears about getting a mammogram. Sectra MicroDose Mammography is a digital mammography system with a significantly lower radiation dose than that of other digital or film-based systems. It’s the first imaging modality based on photon counting detector technology to receive FDA clearance.

“Until now, digital mammography systems in the US have managed to reduce the radiation dose slightly below those of film-based systems,” Dr. Jesper Söderqvist, president of Sectra’s mammography operations, said in a press release. “Sectra MicroDose enables mammography service providers to reduce the radiation dose by half, which is a significant benefit to women.”

The system has been used throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan for more than seven years and was recently approved in Canada and Russia.

—Jamie Hartford