As a revolutionary method of breast cancer screening, 3D mammography (breast tomosynthesis) showed significantly improved performance compared to traditional 2D mammography in the first large scale study conducted at the TOPS Comprehensive Breast Center in Houston, Texas.
The study was led by Stephen L. Rose, MD, who also authored an accompanying article “Implementation of Breast Tomosynthesis in a Routine screening Practice: An Observational Study,” which was published in the June issue of American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), a journal published by the American Roentgen Ray Society. In this study, 13,856 women received both 2D mammography and 3D mammography exams from 2010 to 2012, while 9,499 women received 3D mammography only. The results of the study revealed that, when comparing 3D mammography to 2D mammography, there was a reduced recall rate by 37%, an increase in cancer detection by over 30%, and an increased invasive cancer detection by more than 50%.
Treatment providers current screen breast cancer tumors using 2D flat images, showing all breast tissue. 3D mammography, however, shows the doctors layer-by-layer breast images.
“We are finding cancerous breast tumors as small as two to three millimetres,” Dr. Rose, medical director at TOPS and president of Houston Breast Imagining (HBI), said in a recent press release. He predicts that 3D mammography will be the standard method of breast cancer screening, which makes the detectable tumor size smaller and the accuracy of deciding between benign and cancerous tumors higher.