New breast cancer screening tool comes to UK Markey Cancer Center

February 13, 2012 1:03 pm

A Selenia Deimensions breast tomosythesis machine.

This February, the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center will begin offering state-of-the-art digital tomosynthesis for breast cancer screenings. UK will become the first and only medical center in Kentucky to use this new 3-D technology, the Lexington hospital announced in a release.

Tomosythesis will be used by radiologist to see patient’s breast structure, eliminating confusion of overlapping tissues. During a mammogram, tomosythesis technology will take multiple X-ray photos of the breast and from many angles. A computer will process the photos and create a 3-D image for radiologists. The new technology is believed to find much smaller and earlier stages of cancers that can be missed in a traditional mammogram.

“Tomosynthesis produces images in tiny slices that can be reconstructed into a 3-D image of the tissue, similar to way a CT scanner works,” Dr. Margaret Szabunio, associate medical director at UK’s Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center, said in a statement. “It allows us to look at breast tissue in a way we’ve never been able to before.”

UK plans to begin using tomosynthesis on patients this month. Patients who had an abnormality on a regular mammogram will come in for a tomosynthesis as their follow-up, according to the release.

Tomosynthesis will be used as a regular screening tool for women who are at a high risk of breast cancer or who have dense breast tissue.

“Tomosynthesis digital breast imaging will be of great benefit to our patients when it comes to detecting breast cancer in its early stages,” Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center, said in a statement. “The earlier a cancer is detected, the higher a patient’s chances are for a full recovery. This technology has the potential to save many, many lives.”

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