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Advanced 3D Mammography Gives Clearer View of Breast Tumors at Texas Health Fort Worth
07/11/2012

FORT WORTH, Texas — A new breast imaging technology at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth that creates a digital three-dimensional image of the breast is improving the way doctors screen for potential breast cancers, especially for women with dense breast tissue.

Texas Health Fort Worth is the first hospital in Tarrant County to offer digital breast tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography. The technology takes pictures of the breast in layers, generating 15 discrete images of the breast from different angles. The computer system uses these images to create a tomogram, showing the tissue as three-dimensional layers.

Standard mammography is a two-dimensional X-ray of the breast, relying on the contrast of tumors and adjacent normal breast tissue. In women with dense breast tissue, deadly tumors can hide in the shadows of overlapping tissue. According to the American College of Radiology Imaging Network, 40 percent of women undergoing screening mammograms have dense breasts.

“For our high-risk patients and women with dense breast tissue, breast tomosynthesis is an improvement over digital mammography,” said Dr. Robin Skrine, medical director of the breast health program at Texas Health Fort Worth. “A few years ago, digital mammography was the latest and greatest. We thought those images were really clear and gave us a lot of information. The images we get from 3D mammography go far beyond that.”

Benefits of 3D mammography include:

  • Clearer view through dense breast tissue in order to locate cancers deep inside the breast;
  • Better accuracy in determining size, shape and location of abnormalities;
  • Improved ability to distinguish harmless abnormalities from real tumors, leading to fewer callbacks and less anxiety for women; and
  • Earlier detection, since thin layers of tissue are shown separately and suspicious lesions from traditional flat images can be ruled out as benign.

“Breast tomosynthesis should help us find cancer smaller and at earlier stages,” said Lesley Kibel, manager of the Kupferle Comprehensive Breast Center at Texas Health Fort Worth. “We hope this technology will help us improve outcomes for women in North Texas.”

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is 726-bed, Magnet-designated regional referral center that has served the residents of Tarrant County since 1930. The hospital’s services include cardiovascular services, high-risk and routine obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics and sports medicine, neonatal intensive care, and trauma/emergency medicine. Texas Health Fort Worth is also home to the 100-bed Texas Health Harris Methodist Heart Center. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Fort Worth has more than 4,000 employees, 200 volunteers and nearly 1,000 physicians practicing on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/FortWorth.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 25 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, Huguley Memorial Medical Center, Texas Health Physicians Group, outpatient facilities, behavioral health and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

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