3-D mammograms could help better detect hidden breast cancer

By Elizabeth Learned,

A new study has found that 3-D mammograms could be able to detect cancer even more than the usual scans women have been getting for years.

According to the Associated Press, the study involved breast scans that were done with half the scans being done through 3-D imaging technology to go along with the regular mammograms and the other half using just the regular mammograms.

When the 3-D scan was used, it lowered the rate of getting a false alarm by 15 percent. The 3-D scan is able to take images of the breast in different layers so doctors can get a better look at if any cancers are hidden.

However, the study did have drawbacks since it does come with costs that are much higher and insurance may not cover this type of scan.

The director of breast imaging at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center said, “The technology finds more invasive cancers earlier when they are easiest to treat and reduces unnecessary recalls for false alarms.”

The lead author of the study, Dr. Sarah Friedewald, described the scans as only being slightly longer than regular breast exams and patients in the study didn’t find any difference when it came to the regular or the 3-D scan.

However, USA Today reports that just because the mammograms find the cancers doesn’t mean they will save lives, but it could be a step for women in order to obtain possible treatment.

Comparisons between women who had a regular mammogram and who had a regular mammogram with the 3-D exam, or tomosynthesis, found that 41 percent more of cancers were found through the combination of the scans.

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