By Denise Mann 

HealthDay Reporter

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

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

“Tomosynthesis is turning into the usual of care, and insurance coverage usually covers it,” mentioned research creator Dr. Emily Conant, chief within the division of breast imaging on the Hospital of the College of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. “Hunt down locations that do provide this expertise.”

The brand new research included knowledge on greater than 1 million ladies aged 40 to 79 who have been screened with both 3D or 2D digital mammography between January 2014 and December 2020 at 5 giant well being care programs in america. Most girls had at the very least two screening exams through 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 fee of false positives and remembers for extra imaging with tomosynthesis.

False positives happen if you end up advised you want follow-up testing, however no breast most cancers is discovered. This may 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 photographs in an arc over your head, and the pc reconstructs the breast so I can really scroll by layers of your breast tissue,” Conant mentioned. “I can undergo the tissue layer by layer to see if it’s a actual lesion or not.”

Whereas the 3D expertise is healthier at screening dense breasts for most cancers than conventional 2D mammograms are, it doesn’t absolutely resolve this situation, she famous.

“Actually dense breasts seem like a blizzard in some photographs, 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 sort of mammogram will nonetheless be wanted to display screen actually dense breasts for most cancers, she mentioned.

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

Breast most cancers specialists are enthusiastic concerning the 3D breast most cancers screening expertise.

“Tomosynthesis is extra detailed and superior than conventional mammography,” mentioned 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 mentioned. “If a affected person has been advised they’ve dense breast tissue, they need to search out a middle that provides tomosynthesis.”

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

“For girls at an elevated threat of breast most cancers, the digital breast tomosynthesis sort of mammography represents a vital choice that’s value pushing for as a result of it does a greater job of letting you recognize quicker and extra precisely if there’s something worrisome or if the coast is evident,” Weiss mentioned.

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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