Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008

Cone-Beam Breast CT

They may be effective in preventing breast cancer, but mammograms can be so uncomfortable that some women choose to skip the yearly torture and risk cancer instead. That's why a few cancer centers are testing a newer method of scanning the breast using a specially designed CT. Rather than X-raying the breast as a layer of flat tissue squeezed between two plates (as in mammography), the cone-beam CT develops a 3-D picture of the breast — the woman lies under a CT table while only her breast is exposed through a hole. The result, say doctors, is a clearer picture of the breast tissue in all dimensions, without the distorting effects of overlapping tissue in flat images taken by mammograms.