The conventional 2D mammography screening for breast cancer has recently been replaced by several new, more accurate screening methods that can guarantee early detection of breast cancer.
The two 3D screening alternatives that have been approved by the FDA include the state of the art GE Healthcare SenoClaire, and the Selenia Dimensions 3D System. The former uses a combination of mammogram images as well 3D tomosynthesis images to generate a comprehensive view, whereas the Selenia System produces 3D breast tomosynthesis images for accurate diagnosis.
The 3D breast tomosynthesis is a technology that uses a set of 2D mammogram images to create a complete 3D image of the breast, thus revealing even those sections of the breast that remain hidden under overlapping tissue and cannot be seen using a conventional mammography procedure.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of opting for 3D breast tomosynthesis is the fact that it is highly accurate and has the ability to pinpoint the exact location and size of the tumor underneath the dense tissues of the breast. With the help of this technology, tumors and other abnormalities can be detected at an early stage, and treatment can be initiated accordingly.
Based on recent clinical studies on the subject, this technology can increase the overall rate of cancer detection in women and eliminate the need of biopsies for diagnosis in women who do not have cancer.
Research is also being carried out in the field of 3D ultrasounds for cancer detection; this technology can scan the breast and produce 3D data that can then be studied from any angle. According to an FDA official, breast cancer detection in women having dense breast tissues can be improved substantially with 3D ultrasounds.
The breast CT System is another noteworthy technology in the field of breast cancer detection as it produces a complete 3D representation of the patient’s breast. The procedure is more comfortable, as compared to the mammography, and there are less chances of radiation exposure to any other part of the body. The patient is required to lire face-down on a bed for the CT exam, the breasts rest in a cup around which the x-ray machine rotates to generate a 3D image.
The new technologies may be ultra accurate and efficient, but it important for the medical practitioners to be trained in reading numerous high definition images that are produced by the systems. The fact that these images have comparatively less distortion than conventional mammograms makes the task easier to manage. The systems have been optimized to automatically differentiate between the cancerous tissues and the normal tissues of the breast.