What is Tomosynthesis?
Digital breast tomosynthesis (tomo), also known as 3D mammography, is a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic breast imaging tool to improve the early detection of breast cancer. During the 3D part of the exam, an x-ray arm sweeps over the breast, taking multiple images in seconds. Images are displayed as a series of thin slices that can be viewed by our radiologists as individual images or in a dynamic interactive animation. Approved as an imaging modality by the FDA in early 2011, tomo is used in combination with 2D digital mammography.
What are the Benefits?
Many studies in Europe and the U.S. have substantiated superior breast cancer detection rates when combining 3D mammography with conventional 2D mammography. Studies have demonstrated a 10%-30% increase in overall breast cancer detection (over 2D imaging alone). Tomosynthesis has also been proven to reduce the number of call-backs for further imaging by as much as 30%. Two of the top benefits are improving the early detection of breast cancer and providing peace of mind due to increased accuracy.
How is 3D Mammography Different From 2D?
Traditional digital mammography takes two-dimensional pictures of the breast and is still one of the most advanced tools available for detecting breast abnormalities. Since there could be a significant amount of overlapping tissue in 2D images, this results in difficulty differentiating a real lesion from normal overlapping tissue. Rather than viewing the breast tissue in 2D images, our radiologists can examine the tissue one thin layer at a time, in a sense traveling through the structure of the breast like flipping pages of a book. Fine details are more visible and are less likely to be hidden by overlapping tissue.
Is There Increased Radiation With Tomo?
Tomosynthesis is safe. Radiation exposure to the breast is very low. The radiation dose for a combined 2D/3D mammography exam is well below the acceptable limits defined by the FDA and is only a fraction of the level of radiation everyone receives annually from the natural background of being outdoors. There is no evidence that this low level of radiation has any significant effect on the breasts. As with any x-ray, patients should inform their technologist before an exam if they are (or might be) pregnant.
What Can Patients Expect?
3D mammography complements standard 2D mammography. No additional breast compression is required and it only takes a few more seconds. The experience will be very similar to mammograms patients have had in the past.
Is Tomosynthesis Safe for Pregnant Women?
As with traditional mammography, it is important that patients to inform their technologist before an exam about being pregnant or the possibility of pregnancy.
Is Tomosynthesis Safe for Women with Breast Implants?
Mammography, both 2D and 3D, is safe for women with breast implants. Most breast implants are designed to withstand hundreds of pounds of pressure. A mammogram generates an average of 20 lbs. of pressure.
Will 3D Mammography Eliminate the Need for Breast MRI?
At this point, there is no evidence to suggest this. MRI is a functional study, whereas 3D mammography is a structural study. Both modalities complement each other. Future studies will need to be done to investigate the relationship between these two modalities.
Hollywood Diagnostics Center has been recognized as a leader in the medical diagnostics field while performing over 30,000 diagnostic procedures annually. This includes the echocardiograms discussed in this article. The center continues to be at the forefront of medical technology by progressively updating its equipment and procedures to reflect the latest advances in medicine. HDC is your complete, one source provider of all diagnostic services.
If you require for any reasons an MRI, a PET Scan, a mammogram, ultrasounds of any kind, an EKG or even a bone density scan, this is the center that can take care of all of those tests and needs and more. You can even request an appointment by clicking RIGHT HERE! Don’t wait as this is your health.