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September 6, 2013

UVA Breast Care Program expands 3D mammography access

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UVA Cancer Center’s Breast Care Program is among the few centers in the region to offer breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography. The latest in breast cancer detection technology is now available at UVA Imaging Zion Crossroads and Northridge Medical Park in addition to the UVA Breast Center.

Clearer images, better detection

Conventional digital 2D mammograms are an important tool for detecting breast cancer in women. However, the traditional method is limited to looking at the breast as a static image. A 3D mammogram allows the breast radiologist to see images from several angles and from different perspectives, similar to a CT scan.  This allows for a more sensitive test and a clearer image.

Breast cancer masses, calcifications and abnormalities are more visible with 3D mammography than with 2D mammograms.

“Not only are we finding cancers earlier, we are seeing a higher cancer detection rate, diagnosing 30% more breast cancers using the 3D technology as compared to regular digital mammography alone,” said UVA breast radiologist Jennifer Harvey, MD. ”At UVA we are committed to providing the most current screening methods to our patients. By upgrading and expanding our technology, we are giving women options close to home and making it convenient to get screened.”

Fewer false positives

A 3D mammogram not only detects more cancers, but results in 30% fewer abnormal examinations. The most common cause for a false positive screening mammogram is normal overlapping breast tissue that suggests a possible breast mass. Because tomosynthesis is a 3D technique, overlapping tissue is recognized as normal so getting called back for a repeat mammogram is often not needed.

To make an appointment for a 3D mammogram or for more information, please call the UVA Breast Care Program at 434.924.1555.

About UVA Cancer Center

UVA Cancer Center is accredited by the Commission on Cancer and is one of 67 National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer centers in the U.S. for its work in cancer research, prevention, detection and treatment. UVA Cancer Center provides comprehensive, world-class cancer treatment in an environment of caring for patients across Virginia, led by doctors who have been honored by publications such as Best Doctors in America® and America’s Top Doctors®.

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