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3-D Breast Imaging May Improve Cancer Detection
Date:11/28/2007

Stereoscopic digital mammography cut rate of false-positive results, study found

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A 3-D view of breast tissue may give women a more accurate method of detecting breast cancers, according to a trial of a new technology called stereoscopic digital mammography.

False-positive results were almost cut in half with stereo mammography, said the technology's developer David Getty, a division scientist at BBN Technologies in Cambridge, Mass.

"These are women who at the moment are getting a call back from a radiologist saying something suspicious has been found," he explained. However, after subsequent testing, "most of them are finding out there was nothing there," Getty added.

"Being able to cut that number in half would have a dramatic impact" in reducing both patient anxieties and cost, he said.

A second dramatic benefit to the new technology lies in "finding lesions that are being missed on standard mammography. Most of them will turn out to be benign, but some additional cancers will be found," Getty said.

Getty was expected to present the results Wednesday at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting in Chicago.

The five-year trial, conducted at Emory University in Atlanta and scheduled to end in December, focused on almost 1,100 women at elevated risk for breast cancer. According to Getty, the trial was a collaboration with Dr. Carl D'Orsi, the director of Emory's breast imaging center.

Results so far show that that stereo mammography reduced false-positives by 49 percent. The stereoscopic equipment failed to detect 24 out of 109 cancerous lesions, compared to 40 out of 109 lesions not found through standard digital mammography, Getty said.

Another advantage of the stereoscopic digital mammography is that it "is much better at picking up cluster calcifications [that] can be associated with malignancy," Getty a
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