Health Team

New technology advances mammograms to 3-D

Posted August 2, 2013

— The 3-D breast tomosynthesis is the name of the latest technological development for better mammograms, according to Dr. Laura Thomas with Raleigh Radiology.

“In addition to a standard two-dimensional image, the new tool can also acquire several layered images from a 15-degree angle,” she said.

A two-dimensional image may show a clouded area in a breast, but that can be inconclusive.

“In a standard image, there’s only one questionable area which in tomosynthesis confirms a mass,” Thomas said.

She said the tomosynthesis image showed not just one but two adjacent, irregular breast cancers.

The mammography experience will be similar to what patients have done before. The compression may be for a few seconds longer. Radiologists are then able to get both flat and three-dimensional images.

The technology was recently FDA approved. But it’s more expensive than standard mammograms, so not all insurance companies cover it.

Patty Johnson, 60, said she was willing to pay the extra cost out of pocket for the extra assurance.

“I just think it’s an additional step in the improvement of the technique,” she said.

Johnson is not at special risk of breast cancer, but she’s convinced if she does have even a small tumor, this technology will detect it earlier than standard imaging.


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  • whatelseisnew Aug 6, 2013

    Yep step right up there ladies and RADIATE your chests. I would only do the mammogram if there was history of that kind of cancer in the family. Doing a physical self-exam does make sense as it might find a potential problem and does not put you at any risk.

  • Scubagirl Aug 5, 2013

    "Please continue to do self exams every month the life you save could be the mother of your child"

    The life you save could be YOUR life. Not everyone has children :)

  • sunshine1040 Aug 2, 2013

    If it can find tumors earlier then I am all for it. I know regular mammograms do see all tumors even some large ones. Please continue to do self exams every month the life you save could be the mother of your child