Mammography & Tomosynthesis
Breast Cancer Screening & Digital Mammography
- Early detection through regular mammograms in women is a best defence in the fight against breast cancer. Women have an increased chance of surviving breast cancer if the disease is found early.
- Conventional screen-film or digital x-ray mammography is currently recognised as the best way to detect breast cancer in its earliest form.
- Digital mammography uses a specially-designed digital camera and computer to produce an image that is displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor. Digital mammography is one of the most advanced technologies widely available today.
- Conventional x-ray mammography only provides a two-dimensional (2D) picture of the breast. In 2D imaging, overlapping structures in the breast may hide cancers. In addition, overlapping structures composed of normal breast tissue may "mimic" the appearance of breast cancer.
Breast Tomosynthesis: A 3D Mammogram
- An additional screening tool available today, breast tomosynthesis, is the latest and most advanced scientifically-proven technology for the early detection of breast cancer. Tomosynthesis, often referred to as "tomo", is essentially a three-dimensional (3D) mammogram.
- Breast tomosynthesis used in combination with digital mammography (2D mammogram) has been shown in clinical studies to be superior to digital mammography alone.
- A breast tomosynthesis exam is very similar to a traditional mammogram, however it allows the radiologist to examine breast tissue in thin slices, which are typically one millimetre thick.
- During a tomosynthesis exam, the x-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking a series of images at various angles. The tomosynthesis scan is completed in just seconds.
- The state-of-the-art technology then converts the digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or "slices" to build a 3D image.
- A tomosynthesis exam can be performed quickly and uses approximately the same amount of radiation as a traditional mammogram.
- A key benefit tomosynthesis offers women is its increased accuracy compared to digital mammography (2D) in ruling out a "false positive" finding of cancer, which may result in unnecessary anxiety by being called back for -additional testing.
- Tomosynthesis has the potential to decrease the number of biopsies performed due to the improved visualisation with the 3D image.
- Breast tomosynthesis can be used in conjunction with a traditional mammogram or by itself as a diagnostic mammogram.
Selenia® Dimensions™ 3D
- The Selenia Dimensions digital mammography system is an advanced and additional screening tool available to women in the fight against breast cancer.
- It is the first commercially-available breast tomosynthesis system (3D mammogram) in the world.
- It uses state-of-the art technology based on years of research and development around the world.
- The Selenia Dimensions digital mammography system was developed by Hologic Inc. an international company dedicated to women's health, including breast, bone, gynaecological and prenatal health.
- In Australia, the Selenia Dimensions digital mammography system is now being used by several radiology facilities around the country.
Breast Cancer In Australia
- Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in Australian women.
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women.
- A woman's risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.
- Around three-quarters of all breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50
- Women have a one-in-11 risk of developing breast cancer before the age of 75
- Nine-in-10 women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.
- The Australian Government recommends women aged 50-69 should have mammograms every two years as evidence shows.
- Women aged 40-49 and 70 years and older are also eligible for Government-funded screening mammograms.
- There are different types of breast cancer:
- The most common type of breast cancer is called adenocarcinoma.
- Other types of breast cancer include ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS).
- Treatment of the disease depends upon the type of breast cancer diagnosed.