Arizona's first lifesaving three-dimensional mammography is now available at John C. Lincoln's Breast Health and Research Center
Learn about mammography using Hologic's new 3D digital breast tomosynthesis system, now available at the John C. Lincoln Breast Health and Research Center.
In April 2011, Valley women screened for breast cancer at John C. Lincoln's Breast Health and Research Center gained access to groundbreaking, three-dimensional imaging technology, called tomosynthesis. The highly sensitive imaging technology provides individual images of thin layers of breast tissue, yielding much clearer images.
The center uses the new Selenia Dimensions 3D digital mammography system, developed by Hologic.
The 3D mammography technology was installed at the center in 2010, but could only be used for two-dimensional breast imaging, pending federal approval for 3D use. Federal approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was granted in February 2011, after which the new 3D software was ordered, installed, tested and approved for use.
Benefits of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis
Tomosynthesis reveals the inner architecture of the breast, without the distortion typically caused by tissue shadowing or density. Thin layers of breast tissue are shown individually, not as overlapping tissue layers, which can hide lesions or cause benign areas to appear suspicious. By contrast, conventional mammograms show overlapping tissue, which can be confusing.
Schedule a 3D Mammogram
Call the Breast Health and Research Center at 623-780-HOPE (4673)
While traditional mammograms solely produce 2D imaging, the Hologic tomosynthesis mammograms allow both 2D and 3D screening in one compression, in just seconds, at a combined X-ray dose below the FDA's acceptable maximum guidelines for screening mammography.
Through tomosynthesis, radiologists and doctors now can compare a patient's previous 2D mammogram side-by-side with the 3D format.
New Technology Means Fewer Patients Recalled for Follow-Up Imaging
Reviewing an additional 3D image has helped doctors find more cancers than with 2-D images alone, according to clinical experience cited by the FDA. Improved accuracy in detecting cancers with Hologic's tomosynthesis system decreased the number of patients recalled for diagnostic workups by their radiologists, when results were unclear.
When radiologists encounter suspicious images, patients are recalled for additional mammograms. Historically, approximately 10 percent of women who get screening mammograms undergo additional testing for abnormalities that are later determined to be noncancerous.
This is necessary in order to identify or rule out breast cancer. However, each recall adds to women's anxiety levels, is inconvenient and increases the amount of radiation to which patients are exposed.
Detecting Breast Cancer Earlier, When It Is More Treatable
In clinical studies, radiologists reading 2D and 3D mammography in combination, compared to 2D mammography alone, demonstrated superior clinical performance. Tiny cancers that are invisible in traditional 2D digital mammography appear clearly in 3D imagery.
The enhanced technology will raise radiologists' confidence in ruling out breast cancer, without calling the patient back for further imaging study. Further, because the technology offers improved visual sensitivity, it should raise the proportion of mammograms that correctly detect breast cancers.
While critically important for all women, the enhancement is especially important for younger women with dense breast tissue.
Through 3D mammography, breast specialists will be able to identify cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage, ultimately saving more lives. The stage at which breast cancer is detected influences a woman's chance of survival. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent. At this time, there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, which is why regular mammograms starting for most women at age 40 are so important.