Approximately 4 million are called back for additional examinations, more
than 1 million minimally invasive biopsies are performed, about 300,000
cancers are detected,2 and 40,000 women die of breast cancer.
Catawba Valley Imaging Center (CVIC), a service of CVMC has added digital
breast tomosynthesis (DBT) mammography, an imaging technique that creates
a three-dimensional (3-D) like image of breast tissue, to help screen
patients for breast cancer. While standard mammogram machines take a static
picture from above the breast, the tomosynthesis tube moves over the breast
in an arc.
“A 3-D mammogram has 20 projection images each taken at slightly
different angles along that arc. The information is fed into a computer
which reconstructs composite images into extremely thin slices,”
said Kim Frankel, Director of CVIC. “Just as in computerized tomography
(CT), the ability to evaluate breast tissue without overlapping structures
offers greater image clarity. So it’s fundamentally like a mammogram
with an enhanced ability to reconstruct the image into multiple thin slices,
providing a clearer image of the breast tissue.”
The introduction of tomosynthesis technology is one of many significant
investments by CVMC to more accurately diagnose patients with breast cancer.
Women who are identified as having dense breasts can particularly benefit
from DBT screening as research shows they have a slightly increased risk
of developing breast cancer.
“We are very excited to offer this innovative imaging service to
women within the collaborative setting of the Catawba Valley Imaging Center,”
said Ed Pearce, MD, CVIC Director of Mammography. “Providing the
most advanced care for women, including those notified of increased breast
density, is our top priority. With DBT mammography, we can get the same
or slightly better degree of sensitivity as with digital screening mammography,
but it is much more specific. This will decrease the number of callbacks
for screening mammography, but at the same time increase our cancer detection
For more information about breast screenings, please contact
Catawba Valley Imaging Center at 828-485-2774 located at 1501 Tate Blvd. SE, Suite 101 Hickory, NC 28602.