Integrated 3D mammography for better breast cancer detection
Breast cancer has been one of the leading cancers among women. As against the earlier belief that breast cancer is seen only among women post 50 years of age, but of recent it is also commonly found among women in their late 20’s. Experts say that early the detection, better the chances of recovery. With medical technology advancing there are lots of newer diagnostic tools coming up. In terms of breast cancer, for early and better breast cancer detection, the newest tool that can come up is the integrated 3D mammography which is also known as tomosynthesis.
As against the normal mammography used for breast cancer detection, it has been found that integrated 3D mammography or tomosynthesis provides a three-dimensional images of the breast which results in greater accuracy, early breast cancer detection and a decrease in biopsies and recall rates. The diagnostic tool can reveal even a very small focus area of irregularity on the digital mammography images. With 3D mammography or tomosynthesis the patients need not worry about radiation risks and this technology is mainly advantageous for patients who have discordant clinical findings and where routine mammography have failed to pick up the problem, this technology gives more clarity in such cases.
Unlike the conventional mammogram which creates a two-dimensional image of the breast from two X-ray images of each breast, the 3D mammography or tomosynthesis takes multiple X-ray pictures of each breast from different angles around the breast and creates a final 3-D image. The X-ray tube moves in an arc around the breast while several images are taken during the examination. Then the information is sent to a computer, where it is assembled to produce clear, highly focused 3-dimensional images throughout the breast.
It can be noted that in India there are very few centers having this new integrated 3D mammography technology. High cost of the equipment has been the major deterring factor for medical centers in India to pick it up. The technology is just few years old and was introduced in India just in 2014.
Speaking to Techspirit about the new integrated 3D mammography technology, Dr Anthony Pais, HOD and Senior Consultant, Surgical Oncology at Narayana Health City, Bengaluru said: “The 3D mammography or the tomosynthesis is a new technology which has come to India just recently and only very few centers have this technology. It is highly advantageous than the normal mammography. With this 3D mammography technology we can detect breast cancer 40% more than the normal one.”
Yet another advantage of the 3D mammography technology is the reduced recall rate, as this reduces the tension for patients while they wait after their mammography. Meanwhile, using the 3D mammography technology the tumor in the breast can be easily and accurately located, further added Dr Anthony.