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Release Date: 02/14/2013

To bring the most advanced care closer to home for our patients, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island is now offering digital breast tomosynthesis at its medical office building in East Greenwich.

Women & Infants was the first facility in southeastern New England to offer the latest mammogram technology, which captures three-dimensional images of the breast versus the two-dimensional ones available through standard full-field digital mammography. This gives a more comprehensive and clear image for the radiologist to interpret, increasing the early detection rate for breast cancer by up to 15% and decreasing the number of false positive findings by about 25%.

"Tomosynthesis gives doctors a clearer view of a woman's breast tissue and significantly helps us screen for and find potential breast cancers," explains Patricia Spencer, MD, chief of the Department of Diagnostic Imaging at Women & Infants.

The new technology is used at the same time the technologist conducts a routine digital mammogram, which is still considered the "gold standard" in breast imaging. However, the two-dimensional digital mammography takes an image of the entire breast in one exposure, which means features of the breast can be hidden by overlapping tissue. Tomosynthesis takes images from multiple angles and uses computer processing to compile them into a three-dimensional picture a radiologist can examine and manipulate. The added detail helps the radiologist pinpoint the size, location and shape of any breast abnormality, and can help distinguish real tumors from harmless abnormalities. Because digital breast tomosynthesis visually removes the layers of breast structure and tissue, it is particularly beneficial for women with dense breasts.

"In addition to giving us more accurate images, the result is fewer calls to patients for further testing and less overall anxiety for women," Dr. Spencer says.

Women can now have tomosynthesis at Women & Infants' main campus in Providence, or at the hospital's medical office building at 1050 Main Street, East Greenwich. Appointments in East Greenwich are available on weekdays. To make one, women or their referring physician can call (401) 274-1122, ext. 1248.

Women & Infants adheres to the American Cancer Society recommendations for mammography screening, believing the best chance for survival and cure is early detection. Thus, the hospital recommends screening every year for all women age 40 and older.

About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 12th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
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