Hologic recently received FDA approval for their breast tomosynthesis system, Selenia Dimensions, and boasts that “it is like no other breast-imaging platform on the market.” Based on everything I’ve learned so far, I have to agree that this cutting edge technology is slated to revolutionize the mammography market and breast cancer detection as we know it.
How Does it Work?
The concept is simple but state-of-the-art. Fifteen consecutive images are taken from different angles across the arc of the breast to produce a 3D “slice” image. This, in turn, yields a cleaner, clearer image. Plain and simple, a lesion that’s missed in one image may be detected in another based on the angle of x-ray.
Dr. Phil Evans from the University of Texas Southwestern Center for Breast Care said it this way… “You can see cancer with tomosynthesis that you could not see with a routine mammography.”
5 Benefits of Tomosynthesis
- Fewer call backs for additional screening and testing.
- Simple detection shows the inner structure of the breast without the traditional distortion and shadowing.
- Faster detection as thin layers of tissue are shown separately and suspicious lesions from traditional a traditional 2D image can be ruled out as benign.
- Increased comfort because 2D and 3D images can be produced in a single compression.
- Improved imaging for large dense breast tissue.
Will DBT Replace FFDM as the Preferred Method for Breast Cancer Screening?
It may take a while, but with 1 in 8 women predicted to develop breast cancer over their lifetime this technology has the potential to become the preferred method and new standard for breast cancer screening. In the article Tomosynthesis: A New Era in Breast Imaging, Rachael Bennett, a clinical analyst for MD Buyline said, “I have been practically bombarded with people wanting this technology. They want to know how much it costs and when they can get it.”
Cost will of course be a determining factor in how quickly this phenomenon takes off but this is certain… the anticipation, demand and momentum is significant.
And how very inspiring is it to consider that this particular technological development will impact women all across the globe. Not only will lives will be saved due to better detection with tomosynthesis but many more women in other parts of the world will, possibly for the very first time, now also get access to lifesaving mammograms on refurbished mammography systems that are replaced by 3D mammography technology!
Tell us what you think. We look forward to hearing your comments about tomosynthesis and how it is impacting the world as you know it.