Better Breast Screening

Niki Stojnic  |   Seattle Health Spring/Summer 2013   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION

The Polyclinic and EvergreenHealth are among the first medical centers in the Seattle area to offer 3D mammography, a new technology that promises more accurate diagnoses in women who are getting tested for breast cancer.

FDA approved in 2011, one of the great benefits of 3D mammograms is that they reveal more, taking a series of low-dose images and building images in one-millimeter layers into a 3D composite. Radiologists can examine these layers separately, as well as highlight and magnify specific areas. The technology reduces false positives by about 15 percent, meaning fewer women need to get a repeat scan. Proponents of the technology say it is particularly good for those women with dense breast tissue, but beneficial for everyone.