HealthWatch: 3-D Mammography


Published 06/01 2014 11:17AM

Updated 06/02 2014 06:29PM

TAMPA, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - One-in-eight women will get breast cancer in her lifetime. Experts agree the key to successfully fighting the disease is early detection. New technology is available that can provide doctors a more detailed image.

Some call this machine a game-changer in breast cancer detection.

"I think it's a huge leap forward," Ronald Prati, Jr., MD, Radiologist/Medical Director, Florida Hospital Tampa, told Ivanhoe.

Dr. Prati says tomosynthesis, or 3-D mammograms, doubles the cancer detection rate and decreases callbacks for additional testing. The machine images multiple layers of the breast.

"It's the difference between trying to look through a loaf of bread verses pulling out individual slices and looking at them," Dr. Prati explained.

Dr. Prati showed an image of a conventional mammogram next to a 3-D image, which detected cancer.

Breast cancer patient, Shelby Coriaty, wishes this technology had been available years ago. It could have changed her life.

"I went for my very first mammogram and actually got a clean bill of health. So I went on my way thinking, alright, I've done all those things I'm supposed to do and about 3 months after that, I actually had an itch in my armpit and I felt a golf ball," Coriaty told Ivanhoe.

Coriaty had breast cancer. Eighteen surgeries later she encourages other women, like Amy Janes, to get annual screenings. Janes was one of the first to try tomosynthesis.

"It really wasn't any different other than you notice the machine move slightly unlike the 2-D mammogram is stationary," Janes said.

And with 3-D in the mix, the fight against breast cancer is magnified.

Doctors say the 3-D images can be beneficial for young women who have dense breast tissue, which is sometimes more difficult to screen. However, insurance companies do not cover tomosynthesis until January 2015. But, Florida Hospital Tampa offers it for free. Patients in other cities will want to check with their hospitals or insurance companies prior to undergoing the test.

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