New 3-D Imaging Makes Breast Cancer Easier to Spot

December 01, 2015

Live Well Newsletter

New 3-D imaging makes breast cancer easier to spot

We’ve all heard that mammograms save lives, but a new option makes cancer detection even easier — digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), or 3-D mammography.

“Instead of looking at a single image of the breast, DBT shows us multiple images of breast tissue taken at different angles,” says Patricia Miller, M.D., F.A.C.R., director of the Division of Breast Imaging at Henry Ford Medical Group. “The cancer stands out more, so it’s easier to detect.”

At the forefront of technology

Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital is among the first centers in the region to have this equipment. Who’s to thank? “Our donors,” says Sandra Mitchell, R.T., manager of Medical Imaging at Henry Ford West Bloomfield. “By acquiring DBT systems, we can remain in the forefront of clinical technology and continue making a difference in the lives of women.”

Good news for women with dense breasts

DBT is especially beneficial for women with dense breasts. Why? Mammograms are most effective when fatty tissue surrounds cancer. Women with dense breasts have less fatty tissue and more glandular tissue that can make abnormalities harder to see on a mammogram. Fortunately, DBT can reveal spots that a standard mammogram can’t.

Providing peace of mind

Having a DBT screening is very similar to getting a mammogram. You stand up while your breast is compressed for about two minutes longer than for a standard mammogram.

Today, the Food and Drug Administration requires women to have a standard mammogram before getting DBT. For women with dense breast tissue, the additional screening can provide important peace of mind.

“In our community we have many women with dense breasts,” says Dr. Miller. “We’re committed to providing state-of-the-art breast cancer detection and treatment.”

Are you due for a screening?

To schedule a mammogram, call (248) 325-3828.