3D mammography is like flipping through a book

3D mammography is like flipping through a book

LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - A Midlands radiologist would like to see a relatively new method of mammography become the norm, rather than just an option. The benefits of 3D go beyond just increasing the chances of detecting cancer.
"This is the new machine," Dr. Beth Siroty-Smith said. "It's state-of-the-art digital display."

Inside the Women's Imaging Center at Lexington Medical Center, radiologist Dr. Siroty-Smith explains why she's an advocate for a new machine that does Digital Breast Tomosynthesis - or in layman's terms - 3D imaging.

It enables doctors to detect cancer earlier and more easily than the standard 2D imaging.
"When we go to the Digital Breast Tomosynthesis or the 3D mammography, you can see this nodule here that really jumps out and it was very difficult
to see on the standard view on this image," Dr. Siroty-Smith said. "And then, when we switched to the DBT and we get to that slice, again, it kind of jumps out at you and says, 'Look, here I am.'"
This is a comparison of a patient's conventional 2 dimensional standard mammography image - and - her 3 dimensional image.  Without the 3D imaging,
the nodule is super tough for Dr. Siroty-Smith to discover.

The Digital Breast Tomosynthesis takes a series of about 15 images in an arc and reconstructs them so it's like the doctor is flipping through the pages of a book.
"When you look at the image," Dr. Siroty-Smith explained, "it's like the breast is rolling and we're actually paging through the breast tissue which allows us to then focus on an area."

Because of the 3D's clarity, the number of women brought in for more tests because of a questionable finding is decreased by up to 40%.
"So while we increase our sensitivity for detecting cancers, we also increase our ability to say 'this is nothing to worry about' versus when
we had to call patients back for additional imaging," said. Dr. Siroty-Smith.

Lexington Medical Center was the first in the Midlands to offer 3D and found an audience for it right away.
"It's a great tool for everybody, but those who benefit the most from 3D technology are women with dense breasts, women with a previous family
history or strong family history of breast cancer, patients with their own personal history of breast cancer."

3D takes the same amount of time as the conventional method.  And, yes, it still requires the breast be compressed during the imaging.
So why do all women not opt for the Digital Breast Tomosynthesis imaging?  Because not all insurance plans cover it. 3D is also being done at Palmetto Health and Image Care.

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