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With 1 in 8 women at risk of developing breast cancer in
her lifetime[i], it’s
important to know your personal risk and get screened regularly. Breast cancer
screening has improved significantly in recent years, making it more important
than ever for women to know about the latest advancements that can help doctors
find cancers earlier, when they may be more easily treated. Before you book
your next mammogram, talk to your doctor about your personal
risks and what option is best for you.

Mammography: A Brief

In order to fully appreciate how far mammography
technology has come in recent years, a brief history is in order. Mammography
began as a clinical practice in the 1960s using standard X-ray equipment and images
developed on film.[ii] Ten years later, the use of screen
film mammography improved the quality of the image, reduced radiation exposure,
and increased overall sensitivity to cancer cases. Mammograms became
increasingly common throughout the 1980s, paving the way for biopsy techniques
that allowed doctors to examine tissue samples from within the breast to
confirm the presence of cancerous cells.[ii]

Along with the turn of the 21st century, a dynamic
evolution for mammography occurred as digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), or 3D
mammography, rapidly grew in adoption. But while 3D mammography offers a number
of benefits for patients, including enhanced cancer detection and reduced rates
of false positives and unnecessary recalls, it has introduced an emerging
challenge for radiologists. Compared to 2D mammography, which typically
produces four images per patient, 3D mammography produces hundreds of images,
or slices, of each breast. This exponential increase of images can increase
reading time by almost twice as much compared to traditional 2D mammography,
which can result in reader fatigue ultimately impact patient care.[iii]

The Advent of Artificial

iCAD’s Profound AI™ was designed to address the emerging
workflow challenges associated with 3D mammography. It is the first artificial
intelligence (AI) software for 3D mammography to be FDA-cleared, and is
clinically proven to enhance breast cancer screening, reduce the rate of false
positives and unnecessary recalls for patients, and cut reading time for
radiologists by more than half.[iv]  This advanced technology uses a high-performing
algorithm that rapidly and accurately analyzes each 3D mammography image and
pinpoints suspicious areas for radiologists to examine more closely. It also provides
radiologists with key information unique to each patient, such as Certainty of
Finding lesion and Case Scores, which represent the algorithm’s confidence that
an area of suspicion is malignant. This data assists radiologists decide which
cases to prioritize and how best to proceed on each individualized case. It
also features the latest in deep-learning artificial intelligence, which allows
for continuously improved performance via ongoing updates.

Positive clinical data from a large reader study
involving ProFound AI for DBT were recently published in Radiology: Artificial Intelligence.[iv] The study was
conducted with 24 radiologists reading an enriched set of 260 DBT cases,
including 65 cancer cases with a total of 66 malignant lesions, both with and
without ProFound AI. According to the study, ProFound AI for DBT improved
radiologist sensitivity by 8 percent, reduced unnecessary patient recall rates
by 7.2 percent, and slashed reading time for radiologists by 52.7 percent.[iv] Additionally, ProFound AI cut reading time
by up to 57.4 percent for radiologists reading cases with dense breasts.[iii]

The ProFound AI platform is available in a growing number
of countries worldwide. ProFound AI for DBT was FDA-cleared, CE marked, and Health
Canada licensed in 2018; ProFound AI for 2D Mammography was CE marked in July

Do’s and Don’ts
for Your Next Mammogram


  • Avoid drinking caffeine before your procedure,
    as caffeine may make your breasts more tender.
  • Don’t wear antiperspirants, deodorants or
    lotions before you get your mammogram, as they may appear on your mammography
    image and could potentially interfere with the result.


  • Schedule your mammogram after your menstrual
    cycle. Your breasts may be more sensitive during menstruation.
  • Wear separates, or a two-piece outfit, rather
    than a dress.
  • Avoid wearing jewelry, especially around your
  • Consider taking an over-the-counter pain
    medication one hour prior to your exam.
  • Talk to your doctor about your personal risk for
    breast cancer what screening option is recommended for you.

2018: Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2018.

BN, Sickles EA. (2014) The Evolution of Breast Imaging: Past to Present.
Radiology, 273 (2S). Accessed via

[iii] Hoffmeister J. (2018). Artificial
Intelligence for Digital Breast Tomosynthesis – Reader Study Results. [White
paper]. Accessed via

[iv] Conant E, et al. (2019). Improving Accuracy and
Efficiency with Concurrent Use of Artificial Intelligence for Digital Breast
Tomosynthesis. Radiology: Artificial
Intelligence. 1 (4). Accessed via