Dr. Kelley Allison, a radiologist and fellowship-trained mammographer with the Sentara Cancer Network, offered her reaction to recent news reports questioning the effectiveness of mammography as a tool to reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer.

Dr. Kelley Allison touts value of 3D mammography

Dr. Kelley Allison, a radiologist and fellowship-trained mammographer with the Sentara Cancer Network, offered her reaction to recent news reports questioning the effectiveness of mammography as a tool to reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer.

The advent of new technologies has radically changed the screening and diagnosis of breast cancer in recent years.  Digital mammography provides several advantages over analog films of old and has quickly become the standard of care for patients at Sentara breast imaging centers, according to Allison.  3D mammography is has also been introduced at Sentara as a key tool in the early diagnosis of breast cancer. A recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association points to increased detection rates and decreased false positive results when 3D technology (tomosynthesis) is added to screening mammography.

While many women may be confused over recent reports and whether or not they should continue with the American Cancer Society and American College of Radiology recommendations of annual screening mammograms as an effective tool in detecting breast cancer early, Allison points to several concerns over the widely cited study out of Canada. One primary concern over the Canadian study was the technology used during the time of the study (early 1980s).  Today’s technology and subspecialized experts are making a big impact in the early detection of breast cancer, according to Allison.

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