The government re-affirmed the importance of early breast cancer detection with its recent update to guidelines recommending that women age 40 and older have mammograms. A new computer-aided tool can make mammograms even better by highlighting potential areas of concern, and ultimately increasing early detection.

Detecting the subtleties of breast cancer on a mammogram has always been challenging for radiologists. Today, finding breast cancer may be a little easier, thanks to a computer-aided detection system called Second Look that's recently been approved by the FDA. Clinical trials showed more than 26 percent of breast cancers that were missed on mammograms would be detected with the use of this tool.

Dr. Rachel Brem, Director of Breast Imaging at George Washington University Medical Center.

    "The difference between human evaluation of a mammogram and a computer evaluation of a mammogram is that the computer does it completely objectively. And so, what computer-aided detection does is that it objectively analyses the mammogram and points out specific areas of interest."

    "We know that if a second radiologist looks at a mammogram, the ability to detect breast cancer significantly increases. We can use computer-aided detection as a second reader to help us point out areas of abnormality."

Second Look, developed by CADx Medical Systems, highlights suspicious areas on mammograms to help radiologists detect cancer at an early stage when it is most treatable. The system is approved for both screening and diagnostic use.