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  • A more accurate test than a mammogram: digital breast tomosynthesis coverd by Philly.com

    Published: 10/18/2012


    A more accurate test than a mammogram

    Radiologist Debra Somers Copit looked critically at the mammogram of her patient, a co-worker at Einstein Medical Center, and saw nothing out of the ordinary.

    At this point, the patient would have been sent home worry-free until next year's screening. But using a 3D imaging technique called digital breast tomosynthesis, Copit was able to find the small tumor hiding in the woman's right breast.

    "I felt really, really bad because that Sunday was her birthday," recalls Copit. "But I do believe tomosynthesis saved her life."

    At 20 percent of all mammograms, such dangerous false negatives are far too common. Which is why for almost four years, Copit has made it her mission to improve screening accuracy with tomosynthesis.

    With a mammogram, the breast gets compressed between two plates to even out the shape as much as possible, and an X-ray picture is taken. But sometimes a dense lump of flattened tissue looks too much like a tumor, or vice versa.

    Tomosynthesis uses the same machine but takes multiple X-rays at different angles. A computer algorithm reconstructs a 3D model from these images, giving radiologists a millimeter-by-millimeter view of the breast.

    (Read the whole story by Meeri Kim on Philly.com here.)

  • Communications Team