News | February 02, 2015

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis One of Time Magazine’s Leading Health Advances in 2014

Tomosynthesis plus mammography found to bump cancer detection rates to 80 percent

digital breast tomosynthesis, Time, leading healthcare advances, 2014, DBT

February 2, 2015 — Time Magazine cast a spotlight on the dramatic impact of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) in detecting cancers (particularly in women with dense breasts) in its article entitled “11 Remarkable Health Advances from 2014.” A separate Time article reports that women with dense breasts carry a greater risk for cancer and also have tumors that are more difficult to detect. That article also presents the results of a scientific study presented at the 2014 annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in December that involved more than 25,500 women between ages 50 and 69.

The study found that combining DBT with full-field digital mammography (FFDM) images detected much more cancer than FFDM alone: 211 cancers compared to only 163. When it came to dense breasts, the combined use of DBT and FFDM was able to identify 80 percent of the cancers versus 59 percent when FFDM was used alone.

Harmindar Gill, M.D., medical director of Premier Women’s Radiology (Bonita Springs, Fla.), uses Carestream’s DBT technology on a Vue Mammo Workstation and is an avid proponent of DBT because she believes it can assist in the effort to further reduce deaths from breast cancer.

“DBT produces three-dimensional images that offer significantly enhanced visualization of breast tissue. As a result of my personal experience using DBT and the scientific studies now available, I advocate use of DBT for all screening mammograms—especially for patients with dense breasts, patients with BRCA gene mutation and those who have been previously diagnosed with breast cancer,” she said.

Carestream’s DBT module adds advanced workflow capabilities and specialized tools that can optimize the reading of digital breast tomosynthesis exams at the same time as other procedures. The company’s new slabbing tool combines slices of a DBT series while allowing the user to choose different rendition modes and slab thicknesses. In scientific studies, radiologists have reported that this capability can help visualize calcifications and decrease reading time. The generation of 2-D synthetic views is an alternate approach to acquiring conventional 2-D mammography views, which can help reduce the radiation dosage a patient is exposed to while allowing full advantage of the benefits of digital breast tomosynthesis.

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