Tomosynthesis (3D Mammography) Study Reveals Tomo Detects Smaller Cancers

Williamsville, January 31, 2018 — Dr. Cynthia Fan will present the findings from a retrospective study conducted by Windsong Radiology Group and Windsong Breast Care at the 28th Annual Interdisciplinary Breast Center (NCBC) Conference this March. The study shows that 3D tomosynthesis (3D mammomgraphy) detects smaller cancers, and more cancers with architecture distortions, which can be very difficult to see in 2D digital mammography (Mammo) only. Corresponding author, Cynthia Fan, MD, PhD said, “This project was designed to demonstrate how tomosynthesis (tomo) assists with tumor detection, whether through smaller tumor size or any particular imaging characters. We are very excited to share our findings at the conference.” Each year the NCBC brings together medical and industry professionals from around the globe who share ideas, methodologies and treatment options that improve quality of care and outcomes for patients diagnosed with breast diseases.

As many have seen, multiple peer-reviewed articles have demonstrated that 3D tomosynthesis has superior tumor detection over 2D digital mammogram (Mammo), and decreases the recall rate, although most of these studies were performed in academic centers.  Windsong is a community based radiology practice affiliated with a breast center, and this study echoes what previous studies from academic centers have reported – 3D tomosynthesis is superior to 2D digital mammograms at detecting smaller cancers.

The study evaluated all the breast malignancies detected through screening exams at Windsong Radiology Group in 2010 (pre-tomo era, Mammo only) versus 2014 (when all of its 4 imaging centers were fully equipped with Hologic Dimensions tomosynthesis systems). Over 60,000 screening exams were performed in each time period. Tumor sizes, pathologies and imaging characters were analyzed.

The main findings below:

  2014 2010  
Cancer detected from screening 341 354
Cancer without suspicious calcs 231 223  
Average cancer size (mm) 8.12+/- 4.07(1-28mm) 9.17 +/- 5.16(2- 30 mm) P=0.018, <0.05
Architecture Distortion in Tumor imaging character 47 15 p=0.000048 <0.05


Dr. Fan stated, “The conclusion of the study showed that in Windsong’s community practice setting, adding 3D tomosynthesis (3D mammography) to the screening exam helps to detect smaller cancers, and more cancers with architecture distortions, which can be very difficult to see in 2D digital mammograms only.” She added that both are statistically significant.

For many women with dense breast tissue, this affirms the belief that these women benefit greatly from screening mammography that utilizes tomosynthesis (3D mammography).

Dr. Anna Chen, Windsong’s Director of Women’s Imaging added, “Windsong recommends its Hologic C-View™ 3D mammography and dose reducing capability to all age appropriate patients.” According to Dr. Chen, the advanced capability allows Windsong to offer the best mammogram for the majority of women with very similar radiation dose compared to a 2D digital mammogram. (The dose is lower than the radiation received flying across the country.) Windsong believes this exam is beneficial for ALL patients every year, especially those with dense breast tissue or those at a higher risk of cancer.

Windsong Radiology Group is the largest free standing radiology facility in Western New York and one of the busiest in the nation, performing over 400,000 imaging exams last year. It is a full-service diagnostic imaging practice staffed by 18 Board Certified and Fellowship trained radiologists who deliver cutting edge service. It was the first center in the area to be recognized as a Breast Center of Excellence by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. It has the reputation of pursuing and acquiring the most advanced technology available and employs only highly trained, certified technologists. Windsong’s Interventional and Vascular Services team performed nearly 5,000 procedures in 2016 helping more than 2500 patients. As an Image Wisely facility, Windsong works closely with referring physicians, their patients and local insurance carriers to establish the least invasive and most medically appropriate procedures.