THE earlier breast cancer is detected, the more treatable it is. Considering one in eight women can expect to develop breast cancer at some point in her life, access to the best screening technology for early detection is criticalFortunately, doctors can now use a revolutionary technology called 3D mammography to more accurately detect cancer. Groundbreaking research recently published in the scientific journal Radiology found that adding 3D mammography to a traditional 2D mammogram increases the likelihood of detecting invasive breast cancers by 40 percent. Conducted by researchers at the University of Oslo, this study, which involved over 12,000 women, is the largest clinical trial to date showing the benefits of 3D mammography compared to traditional mammography.
Since the chance for a cure is nearly 100 percent if a cancer is detected before it has spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body, 3D mammograms are a valuable screening tool for women everywhere.
3D mammography compared to traditional mammography
The American Cancer Society recommends that all women, starting at age 40, get an annual mammogram to screen for breast cancer. While 2D digital mammography is still an excellent screening technology, limitations exist because it provides only a two-dimensional picture of the breast.
3D mammograms provide clearer images, giving doctors a more detailed view.
How a 3D mammogram works
For the patient, having a 3D mammogram is nearly identical to having a traditional mammogram. The difference is in how the images are captured and displayed to give doctors more accurate information.
Think of reading a mammogram as similar to reading a book. If you look down at the cover, you cannot see individual pages. However, when you open it up, you can go through the entire book page by page to see everything in between the covers. During the 3D procedure, an X-ray arm sweeps in an arc, taking multiple images in just seconds. These images are used to produce a 3D reconstruction of the breast, which a doctor can read one section—or page—at a time. Fine details are more clearly visible, making it easier for doctors to spot abnormalities.
Currently, many women are called in to have additional tests after something suspicious is seen on their screening mammogram. Waiting for the results of additional tests can mean a lot of worry and anxiety; however, many times, the suspicious area turns out to be normal—a false alarm. In addition to detecting cancers earlier, 3D mammography can reduce unnecessary callbacks by as much as 40 percent by helping doctors more accurately distinguish between normal tissue and true abnormalities. As a result, fewer women go through the anxiety-provoking ordeal of a false alarm.
Where to find 3D mammograms
Talk to your doctor about the benefits of 3D mammography and visit www.Hologic3D.com for a list of 3D mammography providers nearby. North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.