New technology incorporated into UMMC's Breast Imaging Services will give many women a better chance of earlier cancer detection.
The new three-dimensional software from Hologic will enable doctors to better see smaller areas of cancer in dense breast tissue.
“This is a new tool that is crucial for women with dense breasts,” said Dr. Harpreet Talwar, an assistant professor of radiology and chief of UMMC's breast imaging division. “Because of the volume of breast tissue, cancer can hide from two-dimensional images. It has less chance of hiding on the 3-D images.”
Currently most women receive 2-D imaging.
“When a 2-D image isn't clear enough for a radiologist to say with certainty that it depicts no cancer, the woman may be recalled to have additional imaging or sonogram,” Talwar said. “In dense breast tissue, 3-D can detect cancer with more clarity and confidence. With 2-D images, the same cancer may be harder to detect and can be missed.”
Willie Smith was among the first to try it at UMMC. A colon cancer and sickle cell survivor, the Clinton resident said she believes in getting the best screening possible.
“They said you could see more with 3-D,” she said of Talwar and the breast imaging staff. “I said I want to go for it.”
Recently, she sat with Talwar and listened as the radiologist explained her images.
“Think of it like a book,” Talwar said. “Before we could see the front and back cover. The pages in the middle were projected on top of each other. Now we can flip through and see the pages of the book.”
“You really can see more,” Smith said, watching as Talwar compared Smith's 2-D and 3-D images.