By Denise Mann 

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, March 14, 2023 (HealthDay Information) — Newer scanning know-how might spot extra breast cancers and decrease the speed of dreaded false positives, a big, new research exhibits.

Now accessible in a rising variety of well being care amenities, tomosynthesis makes use of low-dose X-rays and laptop reconstructions to create 3D pictures of the breasts to seek out cancers. In distinction, conventional mammography creates 2D pictures of the breasts.

“Tomosynthesis is turning into the usual of care, and insurance coverage sometimes covers it,” stated research creator Dr. Emily Conant, chief within the division of breast imaging on the Hospital of the College of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. “Search out locations that do supply this know-how.”

The brand new research included information on greater than 1 million ladies aged 40 to 79 who had been screened with both 3D or 2D digital mammography between January 2014 and December 2020 at 5 massive well being care programs in the US. Most girls had at the least two screening exams throughout the research interval, for a complete of near 2.5 million screening exams.

Tomosynthesis caught 5.3 breast cancers for each 1,000 ladies screened, in comparison with 4.5 per 1,000 ladies screened with 2D digital mammography. What’s extra, there was a decrease price of false positives and recollects for extra imaging with tomosynthesis.

False positives happen when you find yourself advised you want follow-up testing, however no breast most cancers is discovered. This could trigger large nervousness, and there are elevated prices and dangers related to the extra testing.

“With tomosynthesis, an X-ray beam takes a number of low-dose pictures in an arc over your head, and the pc reconstructs the breast so I can really scroll via layers of your breast tissue,” Conant stated. “I can undergo the tissue layer by layer to see if it’s a actual lesion or not.”

Whereas the 3D know-how is best at screening dense breasts for most cancers than conventional 2D mammograms are, it doesn’t totally resolve this subject, she famous.

“Actually dense breasts appear to be a blizzard in some pictures, and due to the whiteness, you’ll be able to’t discover lesions,” she defined. “It is more durable to see cancers as a result of they’re masked by white glandular tissue.”

Ultrasounds or breast MRI after both kind of mammogram will nonetheless be wanted to display actually dense breasts for most cancers, she stated.

The research was printed on-line March 14 within the journal Radiology.

Breast most cancers specialists are enthusiastic in regards to the 3D breast most cancers screening know-how.

“Tomosynthesis is extra detailed and superior than conventional mammography,” stated Dr. Katherina Sawicki Calvillo, a breast surgeon and founding father of New England Breast and Wellness in Wellesley, Mass.

The draw back is that there’s extra radiation publicity. Nonetheless, “the advantages of higher most cancers detection outweigh this threat,” she stated. “If a affected person has been advised they’ve dense breast tissue, they need to hunt down a middle that gives tomosynthesis.”

Dr. Marisa Weiss, chief medical officer and founding father of, agreed.

“For ladies at an elevated threat of breast most cancers, the digital breast tomosynthesis kind of mammography represents an important possibility that’s value pushing for as a result of it does a greater job of letting you realize sooner and extra precisely if there may be something worrisome or if the coast is obvious,” Weiss stated.

Extra data

The Radiological Society of North America and the American Faculty of Radiology have extra on tomosynthesis.


SOURCES: Emily Conant, MD, professor, radiology, chief, division of breast imaging, Hospital of the College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Katherina Zabicki Calvillo, MD, founder, New England Breast and Wellness, Wellesley, Mass.; Marisa Weiss, MD, chief medical officer, founder,, Ardmore, Pa.; Radiology, March 14, 2023, on-line

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