Tomosynthesis of the breast need to replace standard screening

According to clinical researches of the Swedish scientists from Lund University (Lund University, LU) and the University hospital of skåne (Skåne University Hospital, SUS), after screening 15 thousand women for five years it was found that 3D mammography, or tomosynthesis of the breast detects 30% more malignant tumors than traditional mammography. The majority of detected tumours were invasive cancer. The study is published in Lancet Oncology.

“When breast tomosynthesis was additionally found in 34% of cases of malignant tumors, which revealed a normal mammogram. At the same time, we were able to reduce the procedure of compression of the thorax during the examination that may encourage more women to participate in screening,” said Professor LU and radiologist in SUS Zakrisson Sofia (Sophia Zackrisson). She added that some women had to ask for additional testing to exclude the presence of breast cancer, as 3D mammography can detect more formations in the chest.

Traditional screening mammography detects all breast tissue in one image. 3D mammography works on the principle of tomography, that is, doing a few shots through the low-dose irradiation, the computer then reconstructs these images and shows thin layers of the chest. With the increase in the number and quality of pictures increases the likelihood of detecting malignant tumors.

According to Sofia Zackrisson, there is a need to improve the screening of the thorax with the aim of intensifying the fight against breast cancer, tomosynthesis of the breast is the most suitable method. The use of 3D mammography to spread, the only question is when and to what extent, she said.

Tomosynthesis of the breast is already in use at skåne University hospital, among other methods of screening to study the risk of breast cancer. The expert group is now conducting financial assessments for potential large-scale introduction of 3D mammography in a General screening programme for breast cancer.

One of the difficulties in achieving this goal is the shortage of radiologists who are able to analyze the more detailed material 3D images. In the future the process of analyzing images obtained by tomosynthesis, can be automated. Meanwhile, ready-to-use and tested software not built for it.

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