going in for their mammograms might encounter a fairly new
called breast tomosynthesis, the technology was approved by
the Food and Drug Administration in 2011. In recent years, as
more hospitals purchase the equipment, itís gradually
arriving in front of more patients.
Culley, a spokesman for Boston-based Hologic, which sells the
3D mammography units, said his company has noticed a
significant increase in recent years and shipped out a record
number in the last fiscal quarter, although he declined to
release figures. The company now has about 1,800 machines in
places across the United States.
website offers users throughout the country the ability to see
if the technology is available near them.
Sept. 15 report from KLAS, a health-care research firm, 65
percent of 88 hospitals and imaging centers surveyed planned
to invest in the technology within two years, an increase from
57 percent in 2014.
the basics might save you some questions in the doctorís
3D mammograms happen at the same time as a 2D mammogram, said
Sarah Friedewald, medical director of the Lynn Sage
Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center in Chicago. It requires a
new machine, but both scans are taken. The 3D moves in an arc,
Friedewald said, whereas the 2D is stationary.
2D mammogram is like looking at a closed book, and you just
see the front cover," she said. "With the 3D
mammogram, we can page through the breast and see whatís
said the technology has been shown to improve the detection of
lethal breast cancers.
more accessible now that Medicare allows coverage, Friedewald
said, the 3D version might be offered to more patients.
Because of the more expensive equipment, however, insurance
costs might be a concern for patients.
those worried about radiation involved in screenings,
Friedewald said, the combination is still below the FDAís
limit. The FDAís limit is 3 mGy, she said, and the
combination is about 2.65, which can vary slightly due to
breast thickness and density.
recommend it for all my patients," she said.
another concern in the breast cancer field ó more testing
resulting in more false alarms and anxiety ó Friedewald said
data shows this does the opposite.
actually call fewer people back for unnecessary testing,"
she said. "To be able to do that simultaneously with
increasing cancer detection makes it very powerful."