« With breast tomosynthesis, 34 per cent more cancer tumours were detected compared to the current standard mammography screening. At the same time, we were able to reduce the compression of the breast during examination, something that may encourage more women to participate in screening », explains Sophia Zackrisson, associate professor at Lund University and radiologist at Skåne University Hospital (SUS), continuing: « We did, however, need to call back a few more women for additional examinations compared to traditional mammography. We needed to confirm that these women did not have cancer, as this method finds more structures in the breast in general. So, there was an increased call-back rate. »
In traditional mammography screening, all breast tissue is captured in a single image. Breast tomosynthesis, on the other hand, is three-dimensional and works according to the same principle as what is known as tomography. This means that several low-dose x-ray images are taken of the breast from different angles, which are reconstructed by a computer to show thin layers of the breast. With more and improved image informationand less overlapping tissue structures, the chance of detecting tumours increases. Further, the radiation dose may be lowered in certain circumstances. « There is a need to improve screening for many women, and breast tomosynthesis is clearly the most appropriate method to transition to in breast cancer screening. Breast tomosynthesis will be introduced, it’s just a question of when and to what extent », says Sophia Zackrisson.