The best defense against breast cancer is early detection. Doctors and scientists alike find that the chances of survival increase when the cancer is found in its early stages.
Starting this March, the Crouse Breast Health Center will be using breast tomosynthesis, a new 3D imaging system that provides a more detailed picture of the breast than the traditional 2D digital mammogram, to detect even the most subtle signs of early cancer.
Clinical studies suggest that this ground-breaking technology could revolutionize the way breast cancer is detected. In fact, a study published in the January 2013 issue of Radiology points to clinical evidence that digital breast tomosynthesis provides greater diagnostic accuracy than standard diagnostic mammography.
To help doctors find small cancers and rule out false positives, this advanced technology converts digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or “slices” that allow an examination of the breast tissue on a high-resolution computer monitor in one millimeter increments. This new imaging technique in the fight against breast cancer uses very low X-ray energy and can be used in conjunction with a woman’s annual screening mammogram.
Women with dense breast tissue in particular will benefit from three-dimensional breast tomosynthesis according to Stephen Montgomery, MD, medical director of the Crouse Breast Health Center, as details will no longer be hidden by the tissue above and below if the breast is examined one layer at a time. This will most likely reduce the number of women who need to be called back for further testing, such as a diagnostic mammogram or a biopsy, says Dr. Montgomery. If a diagnostic mammogram is needed after all, breast tomosynthesis will be used to clarify inconclusive results.
“We can see breast tissue in detail in a way like never before possible,” adds Montgomery, pictured here with mammography technologists Melanie Gordon, RT,M (left), and Penny Breen, RT, M. “With breast tomosynthesis, tumors can’t hide.”
The cost the $425,000 system was underwritten entirely by contributions to the Crouse Health Foundation. The majority of the funding was provided through a grant from the Saint Agatha Foundation which, in turn, inspired a number of individual donors in the community to contribute toward the balance of the funding needed for the purchase.
The Crouse Breast Health Center was Syracuse’s first accredited Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. For more information, call 315/470-5880.
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Watch CNYCentral Story on 3D Breast Imaging