Virginia Mason is now offering a new technology for screening women for breast cancer called Digital Breast Tomosynthesis, also known as DBT, which provides 3D mammography to help care providers make more accurate diagnoses.
“The Virginia Mason Breast Clinic, along with the American Cancer Society, recommends yearly 2D or 3D screening mammograms for women 40 and older,” says radiologist Peter Eby, MD, who specializes in breast imaging. “3D mammograms may be especially beneficial for women that are pre-menopausal or have dense breast tissue.”
DBT looks and feels just like a standard two-dimensional digital mammogram to the patient, but the images appear differently to the radiologist. While standard 2D mammography provides a single image of the entire breast, DBT provides multiple image “slices” of each breast that can be examined individually like cards in a deck.
Compared to 2D mammography, research shows DBT examinations are more sensitive and specific because of increased cancer-detection capability and decreased false positives. The improvement in test performance is achieved through the combination of advanced technology and an increased radiation dose (although the total dose for the exam remains low and is still within the federal limit for screening mammography).
The primary role of DBT is screening, especially for patients with dense breast tissue who may have the greatest benefit. DBT is currently available in the Breast Clinic in Lindeman Pavilion in Seattle. The examination can be ordered as a screening mammogram with request for DBT, and it is billed as a standard screening examination.
Please call (206) 625-7250 for more information or to schedule an appointment.