A new three-dimensional system for performing mammograms has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The new system was developed by Hologic Inc. and hopes to provide a more thorough analysis than the current mammogram technology.
While current scans are all two-dimensional, this new technology hopes to be able to more accurately diagnose and screen for breast cancer. Providing doctors with both 2D and 3D images, this new scanner allows side-by-side comparisons for analysis.
Experts explain existing 2D mammogram equipment is often skewed as breast tissue may mask small tumors. The new 3D scanner has the possibility to offer much more accurate scans, and may be beneficial when screening for and detecting breast cancer.
Another benefit of the new screening technology is that women may not have to return for a second scan as frequently, as the original scan will be more thorough, offering much more insight as to the current health of the breast.
The FDA explained that nearly 10 percent of women are asked to return for a second mammogram to analyze non-cancerous breast tissue as the first test did not accurately or adequately scan.
In preliminary tests, the 3D scanner showed a 7 percent increase in distinguishing breast tumors when compared to the 2D images.
The 3D mammogram system does increase the amount of radiation a woman receives when receiving a scan, however.
The National Cancer Institute explains that breast cancer will be diagnosed for nearly 200,000 women this year. Survival rates are around 98 percent with early detection and if the cancer is localized in the breast.