Digital Mammography making it easier to diagnose cancers

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SARASOTA- New technology is helping doctor’s see and diagnose breast cancer earlier, and the earlier it’s diagnosed the easier it is to treat.

3-D Mammography gives doctors a clearer view of the breast tissue.

“We can see through the tissue a little bit better,” Dr. Merandi said. “It takes slices through the tissue, instead of a 2D image its 3D and we get slices kind of like a CAT scan through the breast.”

Dr. Steven Merandi says this helps doctors get more accurate results, and makes it easier to see what is and isn’t cancerous.

“It can be easier to find smaller cancers,” Dr. Merandi said. “Some of the cancers that we can find with 3D are not seen at all with 2D, I mean they’re fairly rare, but we do find 2,3,4mm cancers that we won’t see with a 2D mammogram.”

Dr. Merandi recommends the test in particular for women with denser breast tissue.

“If you’re not familiar with the categories, they’re A,B,C, and D going from very fatty to very dense,” Dr. Merandi said. “The higher density can hide cancers more so than a lower density breast.”

Your breast density won’t necessarily be the same as your cup size. For example someone with an A-cup breast can have a D density. And your density should be listed on your mammogram report.

Dr. Merandi says your doctor can help you decide if a 3D mammogram is right for you.

“For people with fatty breasts,” Dr. Merandi said. “Then it’s not as useful and probably not necessary, so it’s not absolute for everybody, but it’s very good for those particular people it’s designed for.”

Whether is a 2D or 3D tests, Dr. Merani says women should be screened every year.

“More and more people are choosing every other year,” Dr. Merandi said. “Which can be detrimental if there is a cancer that’s early developed, it may be twice as big as it would have been a year earlier. So, I just want people to know that we still recommend yearly.”

3D mammograms are offered at 5 of Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s 7 screening locations.

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Samantha Sonner
Multimedia Journalist Samantha Sonner comes to the Suncoast from Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she worked as a reporter and host for KRWG TV/FM reporting on local politics, immigration, and border issues. Samantha grew up on Long Island, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Broadcast and Digital Journalism from Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she worked at WAER, the campus NPR station and interned at television stations in Central New York. Samantha is excited for the Florida Sunshine, and to be living so close to fantastic beaches. Feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter for story updates and news, or to send her story tips and ideas. You can also email her at samantha.sonner@snntv.com.