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TOMOSYNTHESIS - THE NEWEST WEAPON IN EARLY

BREAST CANCER DETECTION

 

Breast imagers at Windsong Radiology Group have a powerful new tool in the fight against breast cancer.  Breast Tomosynthesis or 3D breast imaging is now exclusively available at their main office at 55 Spindrift Drive in Williamsville.   Breast Tomosynthesis was FDA approved in February of 2011, and the Windsong Radiology Group was among the very first imaging centers in the nation to have two of the systems installed and approved.  Led by Dr. Janet Sung, the Windsong team was also the first in the area with trained and certified radiologists to read these new studies using Hologic's Selenia Dimensions 3D System.  Additionally, Windsong's Registered Mammography Technologists underwent hours of training for certification in this exciting technology as well.

 

Breast Tomosynthesis utilizes digital X-Ray to record a series of low-dose, high resolution images of the breast at multiple angles.  These images are captured while the patient is already in compression for the regular 2-D digital images, scanning through the entire breast in about 4 seconds.  High powered computing using reconstruction algorithms converts those digital breast images into a series or stack of very thin slices (1mm) to create a 3D rendering of the interior breast architecture. 

 

Cynthia Fan, MD, PhD, a Women's Imaging Fellowship Trained Radiologist at Windsong participated in a readers study for Hologic even prior to FDA approval.  Dr. Fan is also currently working with Hologic as a researcher to study engineering improvements for both image quality and patient comfort.  "Tomosynthesis provides topography or mapping of any abnormalities including size, contour and the relationship with the surrounding breast tissue.  The images can be displayed and reviewed individually or in a 3-D dynamic mode," reports Dr. Fan.  "In short, smaller cancers are now better able to be diagnosed earlier."

 

This new technology is not utilized for every patient, but can be very helpful under certain conditions.  Dr. Anna Chen, another Windsong Radiologist dedicated to Women's Imaging described that "For high risk screening patients, Tomosynthesis offers improved subtle cancer detection and a lower recall rate, especially in dense breast tissue."  According to published reports, patients who are considered high risk or with a family history of breast cancer, are good candidates for Breast Tomosynthesis.  For patients referred for a breast lump or a more targeted diagnostic exam, Tomosynthesis provides better characterization of breast abnormalities for diagnosis.  "This means that the Radiologist is better able to differentiate breast cancer when imaged with the 3-D imaging of Tomosynthesis than with 2-D alone, and can do so at an earlier stage of the disease," says Dr. Chen.

 

Conventional 2D mammography currently remains the gold standard; however 3D breast imaging provides images with a greater clarity without the distortion caused by tissue shadowing or density.  "Our goal is to continuously improve our ability to detect smaller tumors and rule out false positives resulting in fewer call backs and biopsies" reports Dr. Sung.  Fewer call backs and biopsies is another way that Windsong Radiology Group helps to significantly reduce overall costs for breast care to the healthcare system in Western New York.

 

The Windsong Radiology Group currently has two Tomosynthesis 3D Digital Mammography systems in place, providing for improved imaging in both their screening and diagnostic breast suites.  They were the first facility in WNY to receive status as a BREAST CENTER OF EXCELLENCE from the American College of Radiology.  "We are committed to service and imaging excellence, and support Tomosynthesis as part of the new nationally established criteria for high risk screening and diagnostic patients" added Dr. Fan.  The Windsong Radiology Group plans on adding Breast Tomosynthesis at satellite locations as equipment is replaced.

 

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