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Breast imaging market to reach $5 billion by 2017

by Nancy Ryerson, Staff Writer | January 15, 2013
The global breast imaging market is slated to be worth $5 billion by 2017, according to a new research report by MarketandMarket. The U.S. leads the market, and emerging technologies such as cone beam CT and whole breast ultrasound show promise in the industry, the report said.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The disease is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in women, after lung cancer. The high prevalence of the disease is the imaging industry's main driver, the report said.

Reduction of false positives in breast cancer screening is the second driving factor behind the industry, according to the report. Digital mammography comprises more than 45 percent of the breast imaging market, however, potentially more accurate tests such as 3D breast tomosynthesis, ultrasound, and nuclear imaging are gaining ground. One recent study found that a combination of 3D and 2D screening increases breast cancer detection.
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Another new technology, photo acoustic optical imaging technology, has also generated buzz, the report noted, in part because it uses no radiation. Molecular breast imaging has emerged as an option for women with dense breasts , for cancers can be difficult to spot using x-ray.

The report said that one downside to the newer modalities is that they are more expensive than conventional imaging, an issue the report predicts will improve as the technology becomes more available and reimbursements increase.

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