3-D Technology Brings New Hope to Early Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Breast cancer survivor Sandra Golden-Brown said it took her six months to convince her doctor that something was wrong. Her cancer was caught during her second biopsy.
Radiologist Dr. Beth Siroty-Smith said she's been working in the field for 20 years and has seen the transition in x-ray imaging.
By Christina L. Myers
October is breast cancer awareness month and one Columbia woman uses this time to share her survivor story. Sandra Golden-Brown is celebrating 28 years of being breast cancer free. Brown said she will never forget the moment she learned of her diagnosis.
“Your first thing is Lord please heal me,” said Brown. “Please let me see my children grow up. So that was my main prayer and then to fight.”
The centers for disease control reports on in eight US women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. That is about 200,000 women each year.
Lexington Medical Center radiologist Dr. Beth Siroty-Smith, said mammography imaging has come a long way from film used when Brown was diagnosed. The Federal Drug Administration approved 3-D mammography in 2011. The technology differs from a standard 2-D exam because the x-rays capture slices of the breast tissue which allows doctors to view it at multiple layers and angles.
“We can take an arch of imaging. It’s basically 15 images per view” said Smith. Smith said mammography is like looking at a book The 2-D image is similar to seeing the cover of the book, while a 3-D image is not only looking at the cover of the book, but also being able to flip through and read the pages inside.
Hologic, the makers of the imaging machines, says 3-D mammography detects 41 percent more cancers and reduces false positives by 40 percent. Smith said the technology will change the future of breast cancer detection and diagnosis.
“This new technology is the next big improvement from where we were,” said Smith. “This is going to make a big difference.”
Brown said that improvements in mammography will help future survivors.
"I think that my cancer would have been caught a lot earlier had there been 3-D imaging at the time."
Lexington Medical Center and Palmetto Health hospitals offer 3-D mammography. Lexington is currently trying to raise more money to put 3-D mammography in all their locations.