According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer claims the lives of 40,000 women every year, however women who are regularly screened with a mammogram can reduce the mortality rate by 35%. Those numbers prove that through regular breast screenings, lives can be saved, and Radiology Associates of Fredericksburg has added a new tool to reduce those numbers even further. Tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, takes multiple digital X-ray images of the breast, providing a three dimensional view that results in a more accurate screening.
Catching Cancer Earlier
Because 3D mammography takes multiple digital images as it sweeps over the breast, doctors get a more complete and detailed picture. During the exam which takes just a few seconds longer, approximately 11 images of each breast are taken, which provide the radiologist with an opportunity to spot smaller cancers.
Catching cancers early (below one centimeter in size) is proven to give patients a 98-99% five year survival rate.
“This is our chance to take the next step in imaging and catch those cancers early,” says Dr. Talukdar, Medical Director at the Imaging Center for Women, “but we find other benefits with tomosynthesis as well.”
Accurate Results Reduce Callbacks
The doctors at RAF have been following the evolution of tomosynthesis for a few years in order to ensure that the product that they offer fits their standards of excellence. After a large US study replicated results from the first European studies, they knew it was time to offer this advancement to their own patients. A careful process of reviewing research resulted in an important outcome — RAF was able to secure the newest and best equipment available, to bring to the community. The 3D mammogram in our facility has the same radiation exposure as a regular 2D mammogram.
“When 3D mammography is used, there is a 30-35% reduction in the number of patients who are called back for rescreening and for those who are called back, the cancer detection rate rises,” says Dr. Talukdar. In other words, tomosynthesis is more accurate in finding cancers than conventional screening and can lessen the number of patients who are called back to be rescreened for false positive results.
Creating Benefit for All Women
The newest data shows that 3D mammography is equally beneficial to everyone. “There is not a single woman who would not benefit from tomosynthesis,” says Dr.Talukdar.
Currently, tomosynthesis is being used for screening mammograms, and patients can request it as an additional service when making their regular appointment. With the addition of this new service, the Imaging Center for Women is now the only place in our area to offer 3D mammography. “Screening is important, it saves lives,” says Dr. Talukdar. “Now we have the opportunity to save even more lives.” Call (540) 741-XRAY (9729) today and request this newest advancement in women’s health.