Friday, October 14, 2011
Medical Reports: Better for Breast Cancer
There's a new tool in the battle against breast cancer. Doctors say, it's like a mammogram, but it offers them a much clearer picture of what's going on. 7's Lynn Martinez shows us why the new technology is proving to be better for detecting breast cancer in the earliest stages.
WSVN -- Lori Hamlin thinks about her grandmother a lot.
Lori Hamlin, Family History of Breast Cancer: "My maternal grandmother passed away from breast cancer."
With her family history came concern.
Lori Hamlin: "My mom just made it very clear that she wanted us to be checked annually, and I do it every year."
This past year, Lori's doctor asked her to try something new, called tomosynthesis.
Lori Hamlin: "It was not FDA-approved yet, but would I want to do it, and I said, 'Absolutely, absolutely.' And I'm glad I did."
Dr. Mary Hayes headed up the clinical trial at Memorial Regional Hospital.
She says tomosynthesis is like a mammogram, but it provides a much more in-depth picture of the breast.
Dr. Mary Hayes, Dir. of Women's Imaging for Memorial Regional Hospital: "Rather than one image of the breast, a flat picture like you would look at the cover of a book, we look at the breast layer by layer."
Tomosynthesis shows a 3D image of the breast, where a mammogram is only 2D.
In the study, the new technology picked up 15 percent more tiny lesions and decreased the amount of false alarms by one third.
Dr. Mary Hayes: "So we're reading the breast like pages in a book, page by page."
This patient had both a mammogram, seen on the left, and tomosynthesis on the right.
You can see the mammogram picked up calcifications, but the 3D imaging found something more.
Dr. Mary Hayes: "We were able to identify the second, larger more subtle area of cancer."
The patient had surgery to remove both.
Dr. Mary Hayes: "She has four children, and it made a huge difference in her life."
Now FDA-approved, it's available to all women as an additional tool to mammography, regardless of risk.
Dr. Mary Hayes: "If it's available to patients, they should be encouraged to participate. To me, it's a no-brainer."
Lori says, it gives her a little more peace of mind.
Lori Hamlin: "I will also encourage every one of my girlfriends, and my sister, and my cousins, and my mom and everyone I know. I would definitely encourage them to check it out."
Lynn Martinez: "Dr. Hayes says, tomosynthesis is also good for women with breast implants."
To schedule tomosynthesis, contact:
Memorial Regional Hospital