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Adding 3-D Mammograms May Improve Accuracy

Combination Screening Also Reduced Unnecessary Recalls, Researchers Find

3-D Mammograms: Second Opinion

Although the study is well done, there is still work to be done on 3-D mammograms before they can be called a game-changer, says Debra Monticciolo, MD. She is chair of the American College of Radiology's Quality and Safety Commission, and president of the Society of Breast Imaging. She reviewed the findings for WebMD.

One drawback, she says, is that women who get both tests are exposed to more radiation. "Each of their patients got twice the dose," she says of their study participants, ''even though the combined dose is less than the FDA [acceptable] limits."

"I think it is going to be one of those things that will help us," says Monticciolo, vice chair of research at Scott & White Health Care in Temple, Texas. "But we still need more data."

Eventually, Rafferty says, it will be possible to have only the 3-D test, reducing the total radiation dose.

That is possible, Culley says, because of a new process by which the computer can create a synthesized 2-D image from the 3-D, without actually doing the 2-D mammogram. Then, the radiologist can review both images while reducing the radiation exposure.

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