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Your Health

New Study: 3D Finds Breast Cancers Earlier

Posted: 12/18/2013

Dr Rose
Dr. Rose

3D mammograms for breast cancer screening
A new study adds to a significant body of evidence showing improved results using 3D mammograms for breast cancer screening. The technology detects the disease earlier when it’s easiest to treat and reduces false alarms for cancer-free patients.

(NAPSI)—When it comes to telling if someone has—or doesn’t have—breast cancer, three dimensions are a lot better than two, according to recent research published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

The Research

In the first large-scale U.S. study of 3D mammograms, researchers compared breast cancer screening with the addition of 3D mammograms against conventional 2D mammograms and found a significant reduction in recall rates and a sizable increase in cancer detection, particularly invasive cancer.

The study evaluated recall, cancer detection and invasive cancer detection rates in a community-based breast imaging practice. Called “Implementation of Breast Tomosynthesis in a Routine Screening Practice: An Observational Study,” it was led by Stephen L. Rose, M.D., a prominent radiologist in Houston, Texas.

The Results

“Implementation of tomosynthesis in our screening practice resulted in a consistent significant improvement in performance,” the report said.

The study found the use of 3D mammograms resulted in:

• A 53 percent increase in invasive cancer detection rates.

• A 37 percent drop in recall rates; that is, in patients being called back for further tests because the first result was inconclusive.

The Rose study is consistent with prior research findings, including two major European studies published in The Lancet Oncology. Both of those studies found increased cancer detection and reduced recalls.

The Reasons

3D technology allows radiologists to see breast tissue in greater detail than with 2D mammograms alone. This results in earlier detection of cancers, when they are easier to treat, and a reduction in the worrisome false positives that are more common with conventional digital mammograms.

3D mammogram technology, approved by the FDA in 2011, was developed by Hologic, Inc., a leading company serving the health care needs of women. 3D mammograms are used in 49 states and more than 50 countries. More than 2.5 million women in the United States have had 3D mammograms.

The Resources

To learn more about 3D mammograms, visit

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