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Is breast tomosynthesis better than mammography?
Cancer occurs when the cells of the body divide uncontrollably. Breast cancer is the uncontrolled cell division that starts in the breasts. Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women worldwide and is also the most common type of cancer in women. Though it can also occur in men, it is quite rare in men as compared to women. Just like any other form of cancer, early diagnosis is of paramount importance when it comes to treating breast cancer.
Though there are several types of breast cancers, they can be broadly divided into two categories: invasive (which spreads from the breast ducts or glands to other parts) and noninvasive (which does not spread from the original tissue).
A mammogram is one of the most widely used screening tools to detect breast cancer. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast which helps in identifying breast cancer. For the test, the doctor will take several X-rays of the breast and then look for abnormalities within. A screening mammogram is a routine test to detect breast cancer or any other abnormality. There is another type of mammogram known as a Diagnostic mammogram. It is done when there are some symptoms like a lump in the breast. A diagnostic mammogram is more extensive as compared to a screening mammogram. These require more X-rays than a screening mammogram.
A breast tomosynthesis is an advanced form of breast imaging. It is also known as 3-D mammography or digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT). A breast tomosynthesis uses a low-dosage of X-rays and computer reconstructions to create a three-dimensional image of the breasts and is instrumental in diagnosing breast cancer at an early stage. In this process, the X-ray tube moves over the compressed breast and captures multiple images of each breast at different angles. These images are reconstructed by a computer to create a 3-D image of the breast. It helps in getting a more detailed view and minimizes the tissue overlap that can hide cancers. It takes pictures of the breast in slices, so no cancer is missed.
Breast Tomosynthesis vs. Mammogram:
Breast tomosynthesis has several advantages over a mammogram like:
- The modern breast tomosynthesis is more sensitive and detects significantly higher proportions of cancer as compared to a mammogram. 30% more accurate components a digital mammogram
- Breast tomosynthesis can also potentially be associated with lower radiation doses, less complexity, less discomfort to the patient overall, making it a preferable choice. 50% less pain.
- Women with radiographically dense breasts may find breast tomosynthesis much better and effective as compared to a mammogram. A mammogram may not be able to identify a tumor hiding behind multiple layers of breast tissue. But a breast tomosynthesis can help overcome this shortage and reveal such tumors. Most Indian women have dense breasts.
Though the research is still being done on the comparison of two methods and advancements are made in screening technologies, studies suggest that breast tomosynthesis is better to mammography for early detection of breast cancer. Cytecare is one of the leading hospitals in Bangalore when it comes to breast cancer screening and treatment. Dr. Anthony Pais, the Co-founder and Clinical director of Cytecare, has over 28 years of experience in dealing with surgical oncology. He is one of the few breast surgeons who specialize in breast radiology, reading of mammograms, and early diagnosis of breast cancer. Cytecare provides you with a comprehensive and holistic treatment and care with services including breast cancer risk assessment and screening, breast imaging, breast cancer surgery (lumpectomy, mastectomy), breast reconstruction, and support services for women living with breast cancer.