Digital Tomosynthesis and Breast Cancer Detection

by Tamara Hanson on March 27, 2017

With so many technological advances in medicine, breast cancer can now be detected a lot sooner than with mammograms. Digital Tomosynthesis is digital technology that can help identify small tumors in the earlier stages of breast cancer through 3-D imaging, while providing the increased ability to distinguish between what is dense breast tissue and what is a malignant tumor.

However, this doesn’t eliminate the mammogram all together. Actually, using Digital Tomosynthesis and mammograms together can increase the accuracy of identifying and detecting smaller tumors.

How Digital Tomosynthesis works is very similar to tomography where it takes small digital ‘slices’ while it sweeps the breast, reducing the chances of a tumor being hidden under any overlapping tissue.

Digital Tomosynthesis not only reduces the chances of false positives, but it allows the radiologist to study in detail the more isolated areas of the breast.

In addition to this, those women with extremely dense breasts can request extra screening through ultrasound. Ultrasound has also been proven to be an effective method for detecting breast cancer.

But, regardless of the density of the woman’s breast, mammograms are still recommended on a yearly basis starting at the age of 40; earlier for those who are at an increased risk of breast cancer or who have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.

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