Changing the practice of mammography

Early detection through screening mammography is one of the key reasons that death rates from breast cancer have been declining since the 1990s.

Today, a newer technology, breast tomosynthesis, is poised to transform the practice of mammography by:

  • Finding cancers missed by conventional mammography1
  • Significantly reducing recall rates2
  • Potentially reducing breast biopsy rates

Dr. Daniela Bernardi"We have seen two major benefits since we began using tomosynthesis: an increase in the detection of cancer and a reduction in the number of 2D recalls. These improvements are very important because we can find cancers earlier, we can spare some women the anxiety of being called back for additional views and we can reduce the expense of recalls."

Dr. Daniela Bernardi, Director of the Mammography Screening Program, Trento, Italy

What is breast tomosynthesis?

Breast tomosynthesis is an advanced mammography application that generates 3-dimensionsal images of the breast, allowing radiologists to examine fine details of breast tissue 1 mm at a time, free from the confusion of overlapping tissues.9






Conventional mammography: A success story with limitations

Mammography has shown the ability to significantly reduce the mortality rate from breast cancer.10 However, as good as the technology is, traditional 2D mammography has some shortcomings:

  • As many as 20% of breast cancers may be missed by 2D mammography3
  • Approximately 10% of women are recalled for additional workup and a significant portion of these women are proven to have no abnormality3 

What causes these limitations?

Many of the limitations of 2D mammography can be attributed to the effects of superimposed (overlapping) tissues.

When breast tissue is viewed in a single, flat image, different structures located at different heights within the breast can overlap.

As a result, small breast cancers may be hidden, resulting in a false-negative result, or normal structures can blend together to give the appearance of pathology, resulting in a false-positive reading.9


A solution is tomosynthesis

Breast tomosynthesis produces 3-dimensional images which reveal the inner architecture of the breast free from the superimposition of overlying structures.9

A tomosynthesis scan virtually eliminates detection challenges associated with overlapping structures in the breast and reduces the occurrence of both false negatives and false positives.1,4

An advance in breast cancer detection

Listen as some radiologists describe the results they have seen with tomosynthesis and why they believe this technology will change how breast cancer is detected.

Tomo Now 3

Hear from doctors on how breast tomosynthesis is helping to find more cancers and reduce recalls.

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Dr. Sentis Melcior, from UDIAT at Sabadell, Spain, describes a case that illustrates an increased sensitivity of tomosynthesis versus 2D, especially in breast with difficult parenchyma and/or a history of surgery. Tomosynthesis clearly displays the lesion without the need for additional procedures.

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Dr. Caumo Francesca


Dr. Caumo Francesca, Coordinator of the Radiologists of the Breast Screening of the Regione Veneto and Director of the Breast Screening of Verona, Italy, describes a case where a spiculated mass was seen only in the tomosynthesis images.

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Dr. Sonnenschein


Dr. Sonnenschein Martin, Klinik Engeried, Bern, Switzerland, describes a case where a radial distortion, was seen only in the tomosynthesis images

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