ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Standards Make a Difference during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

International standards promote safety, accuracy of mammograms

New York, Oct 02, 2008

In 2008 alone, an estimated 182,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and programs, events, and initiatives across the country are being launched to promote early screening, funding for research, and support for survivors.

Yearly mammograms have been the most widely recommended way to screen for breast cancer since the late 1970s, and several international standards ensure the high performance and safe use of this life saving equipment.

IEC 60627 Ed. 2.0 b:2001, Diagnostic X-ray imaging equipment - Characteristics of general purpose and mammographic anti-scatter grids addresses the definitions, determination, and indication of characteristics of anti-scatter grids used in diagnostic X-ray imaging equipment. Its guidelines reduce the incidence of scattered radiation in the image reception area, improving the contrast of the X-ray pattern and making the results easier to interpret.

IEC 61223-3-2 Ed. 2.0 b:2007, Evaluation and routine testing in medical imaging departments - Part 3-2: Acceptance tests - Imaging performance of mammographic X-ray equipment is a related standard that covers both the effectiveness of mammographic X-ray equipment and its safety for patients and care providers.

These standards were developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee (TC) 62B, Diagnostic Imaging Equipment. The United States National Committee (USNC)-approved Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator for this TC is the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA). MITA is a division of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), a member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Another international standard, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), provides guidelines for processing the film used in mammograms. ISO 9236-3:1999, Photography -- Sensitometry of screen/film systems for medical radiography -- Part 3: Determination of sensitometric curve shape, speed and average gradient for mammography, was developed by TC 42, Photography, Working Group (WG) 3, Sensitometry, image measurement and viewing.

The U.S. holds the chairmanship and the secretariat of TC 42. Ken Parulski of the Eastman Kodak Company serves as chairman, and ANSI has delegated secretariat duties to the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A). An ANSI member and accredited standards developer, I3A also serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. TAG administrator to ISO TC 42.

For more information on prevention, early detection, and treatment of breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society website.

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