Doylestown Hospital now offers an advanced technology that gives physicians unprecedented views of the breast and may aid in the early detection of breast cancer, particularly for patients with dense breasts.
This imaging service is called 3D mammography or breast tomosynthesis.
Finding Cancer Early
Doylestown Health is committed to utilizing the most advanced technology when it offers proven benefits to patients. Tomosynthesis or 3D mammography gives women an additional option to consider when it comes to early cancer detection. The service is available at Doylestown Health's Women's Diagnostic Center at Doylestown Hospital.
The goal of screening exams like mammography is to detect cancer at its earliest stages before a person has symptoms. Finding breast cancer early offers the best chance for successful treatment.
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A New Dimension in Mammography
For many years, physicians have used X-ray mammography to detect breast cancer in women and men. Doylestown Hospital offers all-digital mammography that stores an electronic image of the breast as a computer file. This digital information can be magnified or manipulated for further evaluation.
Unlike digital mammography, which produces a 2-dimensional image of the breast, 3D mammography creates a series of images that allows the radiologist to view the breast in multiple, connected slices. This process is similar to how a computed tomography (CT) scanner produces images of various structures inside the body.
Benefits of Tomosynthesis
Guidelines for women 40 years and older include having a high-quality screening mammogram and a clinical breast exam every year. The process becomes a bit more involved for women with dense breasts. Doylestown Hospital includes this information in the letter each patient receives following a mammogram.
It can be more difficult to detect cancer in dense breasts with standard mammography alone. In a study with results released in 2014, researchers found that 3D mammography, used along with standard digital mammograms, increased the detection rates of invasive cancer by more than 40 percent. Tomosynthesis or 3D mammography also decreased by about 16 percent the number of women who had to return for further testing due to suspicious findings in the mammogram. 
Doylestown Health recommends 3D mammography as the breast cancer screening method for patients who have denser breast tissue and/or a personal history of breast cancer or who carry the gene for breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2).
While some insurance companies cover the cost of the screening, others may not. If your insurance does not cover the test, the cost is $65.
 American Journal of Roentgenology, September 2014, Volume 203, Number 3
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