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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.
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