PORTLAND (KGW/NBC) - A precise, 3D mammogram machine that's detecting breast cancer sooner has arrived at an Oregon Medical Center.
Radiologist Dr. David Siepmann believes the 3D tomosynthesis mammography machine is so ground-breaking it's like going from an X-ray to a CAT scan.
The FDA approved the machine just this year. Siepmann ordered it knowing it would be approved.
"Even in the short month that we've had it here, we've had several cancers that we found that we really believe we wouldn't have seen if we didn't have the 3D images," Siepmann said.
Siepmann compared pictures of a breast with cancer taken during a conventional mammogram to pictures from the new 3D version.
"There are 'fingers' of the tumor pulling here, which I really can't see at all on the regular mammogram. So we get these layers of overlapping tissue that can be very confusing to look at, and really by separating out those layers, we can see whether there's a mass hiding there," Siepmann added.
When there are two different layers of breast tissue overlapping, he said, it can look suspicious.
Using the regular mammogram, patients have to come back for more testing. The new machine, he said, almost eliminates that.
Doctors advise women older than 40 to get a mammogram every year.
One in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her life, Siepmann said.
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