Is Breast Tomosynthesis Better Than Mammography?

Breast cancer awareness, warning signs and symptoms of breast cancer

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Cancer occurs when the cells of the body divide uncontrollably. Breast cancer is the uncontrolled cell division that starts in the breasts. It 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 breast cancer treatment.

Though there are several types of breast cancers, they can be broadly divided into two categories:

  1. Invasive (which spreads from the breast ducts or glands to other parts)
  2. Non-invasive (which does not spread from the original tissue)

Mammogram:

A mammogram is one of the most widely used screening tools to detect breast cancer. It is an X-ray of the breast which helps in identifying the 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 tumor 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 and requires more X-rays as compared to a screening mammogram.

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis:

A breast tomosynthesis is an advanced form of breast imaging. It is also known as 3-D mammography or digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT). It uses a low-dosage of X-rays and computer reconstructions to create a three-dimensional image of the breasts and is instrumental in early-stage breast cancer diagnosis. 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 digital 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 breast cancer detection.

Cytecare is one of the leading hospitals in Bangalore when it comes to breast cancer screening and treatment. Dr Poovamma C U, the Senior Consultant and Director – Breast Oncology of Cytecare, has over 13 years of experience in dealing with Breast oncology.

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.

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