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Study: 3D Mammography Increases Breast Cancer Detection

Roseanne Tellez Roseanne Tellez
Roseanne Tellez is the co-anchor of CBS 2 Chicago′s midday News at...
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(CBS) — A new study shows that 3D mammography can find more cancer, with fewer false positives, reports CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez.

“It’s very significant, it’s an exciting time to be a radiologist in breast cancer imaging because we are making such advances in technology and really helping patients,” Dr. Sarah Friedewald said.

Dr. Friedewald, of the Caldwell Breast Cancer Center at Advocate Lutheran General, is the lead author of a large study that shows 3D mammography finds significantly more cases of invasive and potentially deadly breast cancer.

The process, called tomosynthesis, offers a more detailed look at breast tissue, increasing cancer detection by 41 percent in the study.

“If you think of a book, we’re able to page through 1 millimeter slices and see inside the breast,” Dr. Friedewald said. “We can say if it’s more likely to be benign at the time of screening or cancer at the time of the screening.”

That means fewer women are called back for more tests, a big deal since other screening modalities led to more call backs.

The study of nearly half a million women could change the standard of care for breast screening.

“Our hope is this paper will raise awareness so it will become more accessible to women across the country,” Dr. Friedewald said.

For women at very high risk of cancer, this technology will not replace the need for yearly MRI’s. Dr. Friedeman says they’re different types of screenings, so you would need to get screened with 3D mammography and MRI’s each year.