Friday, May 2, 2008
Medical Reports: Mammograms
It's the doctors visit that women over the age of 40 should make, an annual mammogram. In today's Healthcast, Seven's Christine Cruz shows us how one group of physicians may have found a tool to give women one more reason to make that appointment.
WSVN -- When doctor Carl D'Orsi puts on these glasses, he sees mammograms in a way they've never been seen before.
Carl D'Orsi, MD Radiologist: "It's sort of a wow factor when you first look at it."
He's the first doctor in the U.S. to test a new diagnostic tool called stereoscopic digital mammography. Instead of seeing a flat picture, this technique fuses two separate images to show the breast in 3-D.
Carl D'Orsi, MD Radiologist: "All of a sudden, you have depth. All of a sudden, you can tell what's behind something, what's in front of something, what depth something is at. It's like, 'Oh, my God,' this is like I'm seeing the world."
Carl D'Orsi, MD Radiologist: "On a view like this, it's a lot more difficult to say, 'That's probably nothing,' but when I look at the fused images, I can see they're at different depths."
In a three-year Emory University study, stereo mammography found more abnormalities and reduced false positive test results by 39 percent, compared to standard mammograms. Stereo also showed 79 percent accuracy, while standard mammograms were a mere 57 percent.
Carl D'Orsi, MD Radiologist: "It's exciting. It's very exciting."
Dr. D'Orsi says, for patients, this diagnostic tool could mean quicker diagnosis, fewer recalls for more testing, and, most importantly, less anxiety.
Marilyn Cook knows mammograms all too well and what the waiting and worrying can be like.
Marilyn Cook: "If they can prevent other women from having to be recalled, you know, for a second one and a third one and ultrasound, what an amazing process is that?"
Marilyn was lucky. A mammogram led to early diagnosis and successful treatment of her breast cancer. Now she spends her days enjoying her daughter and hopes breakthroughs like stereo mammography can mean more success stories like her own.
Marilyn Cook: "Two years and a couple of months cancer free survivor. I'm a survivor."
Christine Cruz: "Stereo Mammography is still in the testing stages, but Dr. D'Orsi believes it will hold a lot of promise for future breast cancer screening."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University