Backus Offers 3D Mammography

Norwich, CT – The latest and most advanced technology for the early detection of breast cancer will soon be available to patients at Backus Hospital.

On July 14, Backus’ Imaging Department installed its first 3D mammography unit, also known as tomosynthesis.  Backus is one of the first hospitals in the country to own General Electric’s latest Senographe Pristina ™ technology, the most advanced breast imaging platform available on the market today.  Tomosynthesis at Backus will be available to patients beginning in August.

During a tomosynthesis scan, the X-ray arm sweeps over the breast to take multiple images.  Unlike traditional 2D technology in which the mammography is read as a single image, tomosynthesis allows the radiologist to scroll through the images like the pages of a book and view through overlapping tissue, something that can’t be done with traditional 2D technology.  Overlapping tissue is a common problem for women with dense breasts, leading to call-backs in more than 10-percent of cases, according to Backus radiologist Stacy Spooner, MD.

“For women with dense breasts, which is a significant portion of our population, tomosynthesis allows us to find masses and other areas of concern that we might not see in traditional 2D mammography,” says Dr. Spooner. 

Fewer call-backs and fewer unnecessary biopsies are good news for patients, says Spooner.
“When patients are called back we have to compress the tissue again and take additional mammographic images, sometimes performing an ultrasound. Tomosynthesis can alleviate that step in certain cases,” Spooner says. “The patient won’t have to experience the stress of making another appointment and waiting longer for results.  We can give them an answer from that initial study.”

3D mammography is available to any patient who is due for their annual screening mammogram.  The technology will soon be available at Windham Hospital and at the Backus Plainfield Emergency Care Center.