Tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography, is the latest advanced breast imaging technology to become available at Edward Hospital.
“This new tool supports earlier and more accurate diagnosis of breast cancer, compared to traditional 2D mammography. And it’s valuable for both screening and diagnostic exams,” says Dr. Darius Gilvydis, medical director of breast imaging at Edward Hospital and a diagnostic radiologist with Naperville Radiologists.
Plainfield resident Johanna Sedillo, 37, thought it might be wise to get an early baseline mammography because her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 40s. Her doctor agreed.
“I think it’s wonderful that they can get better pictures so it’s easier to detect problems early when they’re more treatable,” says Sedillo, who had her 3D mammography at the Edward Plainfield Outpatient Center at 127th St. and Van Dyke Road. “It’s especially important to me as the mother of two young children.”
Sedillo received word that her mammogram was normal.
According to Dr. Gilvydis, 3D mammography is an even more significant development than the film-to-digital mammography conversion, which offered the most benefit to younger women and those with dense breasts.
“3D mammography significantly benefits women across the board, no matter what their age, family history or breast density,” Gilvydis says.
The 3D mammogram looks and feels like its traditional counterpart, except the arm swings over the breast. This allows it to take low-dose images of the breast at multiple angles. These images can then be used to produce a series of 1-millimeter thick slices that can be viewed as a 3D reconstruction of the breast.
Because the doctor can exam the tissue layer by layer, abnormal tissue is less likely to be hidden behind other structures in the breast such as blood vessels, milk ducts, fat and ligaments. The doctor can more easily see and interpret any suspicious masses.
“This results in a lower rate of patients called back for additional images,” Gilvydis says.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, but if detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.
“I can’t encourage women enough to get their mammograms. It’s the one proven technology that has been shown to reduce death from breast cancer. That’s a cause we should all get behind,” says Gilvydis, who was fellowship trained in breast imaging at the Yale University School of Medicine.
Health Aware is a weekly column submitted by Edward Hospital.