3-D Mammograms Increase Breast Cancer DetectionThe Breast Cancer Site
Doctors have long relied upon X-ray technology for detecting breast cancer in women, but a new form of detection may be poised to oust traditional mammograms due to it's higher rate of effectiveness.
This new technology, a sort of 3-D mammogram, is effectively a pairing of the old X-ray based mammogram blended with a process called tomosynthesis, which yields a 3-D picture of the breast. This process, which wasn't very widely available until around 2011, has been shown to increase the detection of cancers by 29 percent. In particular, tomosynthesis and the 3-D screenings have proven very effective at finding small invasive cancers and lobular cancers, two of the deadliest types.
Traditional digital mammography takes a static photograph of the breast, while tomosynthesis passes a low-level X-ray in a parabolic arc around the breast, producing a panoramic and complete 3-D image. In addition to providing more accurate and thorough results from mammograms, tomosynthesis has also been shown to reduce the number of false positives generated by traditional mammograms. Tomosynthesis shows a 8.9 percent call-back rate for women receiving scans, while traditional mammograms hold a 10.5 percent rate. This is significant in that most tests that increase awareness come at the expense of higher false positives, which can drive people away from proper preventative measures.