Digital mammograms may give significantly lower radiation doses than traditional film mammograms, new research has found.

A study of nearly 50,000 women that compared digital mammography systems to film mammograms found the radiation dose was about 22% lower on average with the newer digital mammography exams, according to Reuters.

Digital mammograms are collected and stored on a computer, making them easier to access than conventional film mammograms, US researchers said.

Besides lower radiation exposure and better performance for certain women, using digital mammography images can be zoomed in and the contrast levels of the images can be changed.

The Digital Mammography Imaging Screening Trial was in 2005 and found that digital mammograms detected up to 28% more cancers than film mammograms in women under 50.

The study was funded in part by the National Cancer Institute and published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.