Open Access

Utilization of an energy-resolving detection system for mammography applications: A preliminary study


Breast cancer remains one of the major causes of mortality among female cancer patients. This fact caused a spark in the medical field, which in turn helped to improve the diagnostic and treatment of breast cancer patients over the years making this field always active with new ideas and innovative methods. In our study, a new method was explored using an energy-resolving detection system made from a NaI (Tl) scintillation detector to detect the gamma photons from an Am-241 radiation source to try and construct an image by scanning the American College of Radiology (ACR) mammography phantom. In addition to the experimental work, a Geant4 Application for Tomographic Emission (GATE) toolkit was used to investigate more complex options to improve the image quality of mammographic systems, which is limited by the experimental setup. From the experimental setup, the researchers were able to construct an image using the 26.3 keV and the 59.5 keV energy photons, to show the largest size tumour (12 mm) in the ACR phantom. With an improved setup in the simulation environment, the majority of the ACR phantom tumours was visible using both energy windows from the 26.3 keV and the 59.5 keV, where the 26.3 keV yielded better quality images showing four tumours compared to three when using 59.5 keV. The simulation results were promising; however, several improvements need to be incorporated into the experimental work so that the system can generate high-resolution mammographic images similar to the ones obtained by the GATE simulation setup.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Chemistry, Nuclear Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics, other