Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center has recently added 3D breast tomosynthesis mammography to our breast health services. Breast tomosynthesis allows doctors to examine breast tissue one layer at a time. Banner MD Anderson is one of the only facilities in the Valley to offer this exciting new technology that has just been FDA approved.
“Now the radiologist can see breast tissue detail in a way never before possible,” said Vilert Loving, MD, breast radiologist, Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center. “Instead of viewing all the complexities of the breast tissue in a flat image, the doctor can examine the tissue a millimeter at a time. Fine details are more clearly visible, no longer hidden by the tissue above and below.”
Breast tomosynthesis uses high-powered computing to convert digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or “slices”—building what is essentially a “3-dimensional mammogram”. During the tomosynthesis part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple breast images in just seconds. A computer then produces a 3D image of the breast tissue in one millimeter layers.
Studies have shown this new technology reduces recall rates (when women must return for a second screening due to unreadable images) by 25 – 40 percent, saving patients from undergoing more exams than necessary.