Tuesday, December 2, 2014

3-D mammography boosts cancer detection in dense breasts

A malignancy easily missed on 2-D
mammography was clearly seen on
3-D mammography. Credit - RSNA
Click image to enlarge
CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 2, 2014 – A major new study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago this week has found that digital breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3-D mammography, has the potential to significantly increase the cancer detection rate in mammography screening of women with dense breasts.

The researchers compared cancer detection using full-field digital mammography (FFDM) versus FFDM plus digital breast tomosynthesis in 25,547 women between the ages of 50 and 69.

Digital mammograms are similar to conventional x-rays except that instead of film the image is recorded in digital format that displays the image on a computer screen. With tomosynthesis the X-ray tube moves in an arc around the breast while 11 images are taken during a 7-second examination. The images are then assembled by a computer to form a 3-D image.

Of the 257 cancers, 211, or 82 percent were detected with tomosynthesis, which was significantly better than the 163, or 63 percent, detected with digital mammograms alone. When they looked at the results in women with dense breasts tomosynthesis pinpointed 80 percent of the 132 cancer cases in women with dense breasts, compared to only 59 percent for digital mammography alone.

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