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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Reported June 2, 2014

3-D Mammography -- Research Summary

BACKGROUND: About one-in-eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. In 2013 an estimated 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the United States. About 2,000 new cases were expected in men in 2013. Breast Cancer incidence rates in the U.S. started decreasing in the year 2000.There's a theory that the decrease was partly because of the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy. (Source:

SIGNS/SYMPTOMS: The risk doubles in women if she has a first degree relative who has been diagnosed. About five to 10 percent of breast cancers can be linked to gene mutations inherited from a parent. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the most common mutations. Women with the BRCA1 mutation have a 55 percent risk of breast cancer. The risk with a BRCA2 is lower at 45 percent. To understand this better...some genes control when cells grow, divide into new cells and die. Genes that speed up cell division are called oncognes. Tumor suppressor genes slow down cell division, or cause cells to die at the right time. But, when there is a mutation or changes in DNA that turn on and turn off tumor suppressor genes, normal breast cells can become cancerous.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: The 3-D mammogram also known as tomosynthesis captures several slices of the breast, all at different angles. The images are brought together to create a crystal clear 3D reconstruction of the breast. Then the radiologist can review the reconstruction one slice at a time. It's kind of like turning pages in a book. This makes it easier for doctors to see if there's anything to be concerned about. There's also less chance for a cancer to hide behind overlapping tissue. A breast tomosynthesis exam can be used in conjunction with a traditional mammogram or it can be used by itself for a diagnostic mammogram. (Source: Florida Hospital Breast Care Center) MORE.


Denise Smith, AS, RT(R)(M)
Clinical Manager – Breast Care Center
Florida Hospital Tampa
Office: 813-615-7200, ext. 50814

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