Friday, July 29, 2011

Mass General Imaging-Worcester offers 3D mammography

Expanding services: Beverly Pizzi, RT(R)(M), technical manager for Mass General Imaging-Worcester, with the new 3D mammography equipment

Along with the MGH main campus, Mass General Imaging-Worcester is now the second location statewide to offer 3D mammography. This new technology improves breast cancer detection while reducing patient callbacks and the anxiety they can cause. Also known as tomosynthesis, 3D mammography enhances radiologists’ ability to screen for and detect potential breast cancers by helping to pinpoint the size, shape and location of abnormalities. Radiologists are better able to distinguish harmless structures from real tumors, leading to fewer repeat examinations. The technique was pioneered by the MGH Breast Imaging Division, which scanned the first U.S. patient using tomosynthesis last March.

“Tomosynthesis represents a huge step forward for mammography, capitalizing on its strengths and addressing its flaws,” says Elizabeth Rafferty, MD, director of the Breast Imaging Division. “By allowing us to look between and around the normal structures of the breast it lets us find cancers that are simply not visible on standard digital mammograms.”

Experts believe tomosynthesis will eventually replace regular mammography as the standard for breast cancer detection, but for now, tomosynthesis is performed at the same time as a normal mammogram and on the same scanner. For more information or to schedule an exam in Worcester or on the main campus, visit

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