Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT)

Since FDA approval in 2011, EWBC has been offering DBT in their commitment to offer the most innovative latest technology for breast cancer detection. DBT is a combination study which includes the standard two dimensional digital mammogram and in addition a three dimensional (3D) mammogram of each breast.

DBT is performed in conjunction with the screening mammogram and acts as an additional screening tool to help the radiologist interpreting the mammogram. It is also used as a diagnostic tool for the patient that needs additional evaluation after her routine mammogram is performed and the radiologist requires additional information.

This technology uses equipment very similar to a mammography unit which takes several images of each breast in the standard projections. It allows visualization of dense breast tissue with less difficulty and may help the radiologist be more accurate in seeing through the breast tissue more readily. Sometimes a small cancer can hide in dense and extremely dense breast tissue and go unnoticed on a routine mammogram. The technologist positions you and compresses your breasts in the same way she routinely would, but while acquiring the standard digital mammogram images, DBT images are also being captured adding no additional time to your visit.

DBT acquires digital breast images and displays them in thin layers, like pages in a book, creating a three dimensional mammogram for the radiologist to review. Interpreting three dimensional images allows the radiologist to view the breast tissue one millimeter at a time (1/22 of an inch), making tissue more visible and possibly reducing the need for any additional mammogram views.

A two-dimensional routine digital mammogram has limitations in the dense breast, as dense tissue can cause overlap and potentially hide small cancers. The main advantage of DBT (3D) is that it can reveal the inner structure of a breast, free from overlapping dense tissue. DBT reduces overlapping structures in the breast from obscuring small masses that could be cancers. This combined exam has been shown to reduce callbacks for additional testing by as much as 50% and has also been proven in recent studies to find more breast cancers. Our own data from our clinical research reveals similar results and have been presented at national meeting snad published in peer review literature.Tumors can be found in an earlier stage.
DBT mammography is particularly helpful for women with dense breast tissue or those with high risk of breast cancer such as those with a strong family history of breast cancer and or personal history of breast cancer or history of prior breast biopsy revealing atypia (pre-cancerous cells). A large study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published this summer reveals that DBT identifies more cancers in the breast when compared to standard digital mammography. 

Doctors and scientists agree that early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. We believe that DBT is a big benefit to patients, and our community. Our staff and physicians remain committed to the highest standard of care and innovative approaches to breast cancer diagnosis.

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