Tomosynthesis 3-D Mammogram Screenings

University Hospitals Offers the Latest Innovations in Mammography with Digital Breast 3-D Screening

University Hospitals is the first health care provider in Northern Ohio to offer tomosynthesis, advanced three-dimensional breast imaging, for the earliest detection of breast cancer.

This new type of mammography produces a 3-D image of the breast, providing doctors with a clearer view through overlapping breast tissue. The result is a more detailed picture, making breast abnormalities easier to see, even in dense tissue.

Tomosynthesis improves the radiologists' ability to detect potential breast cancers by helping to pinpoint the size, shape and location of abnormalities. This helps the radiologist distinguish harmless structures from tumors, leading to fewer false positives, fewer call-backs and less anxiety for women.

Tomosynthesis builds upon the success of digital mammography and was recently shown to improve rate of cancer detection and reduce the number of unnecessary call-backs in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, June 2014. Experts believe that this method will soon become the gold standard in breast cancer screening and detection. It is now used as a complement to conventional 2-D mammography for patients receiving a screening mammogram.

Advanced 3-D Mammography Can Lead To Easier, Earlier Detection of Breast Cancer

Conventional mammography images the entire breast in one exposure, which can result in abnormalities remaining hidden by overlapping tissue. Tomosynthesis, like a computed tomography (CT) scan, takes images from multiple angles and uses computer processing to build these “slices” into a three-dimensional image that a radiologist can manipulate, examining each slice individually for a more thorough examination. The resulting advantages include:

  • Easier detection: By reducing the effects of overlapping breast tissue which can hide small tumors, tomosynthesis can make a breast abnormality easier to see.
  • Fewer callbacks: Tomosynthesis can help radiologists reduce false alarms. For example, a three-dimensional view can prove that a spot that looked questionable in a mammogram screening is really no cause for concern. This leads to fewer callbacks, additional scans and biopsies.
  • Earlier detection: With tomosynthesis, additional images of the breast are taken and synthesized into a 3-D data set, much like a CT scan. This finer detail works to detect cancers earlier than standard mammography.
  • Better visualization: Three-dimensional images help radiologists see the size, shape and location of an abnormality. In a 2-D mammogram, it could be hidden.
  • More comprehensive care: When cancer is detected in one breast, 15 percent of women have another tumor in the same breast or in the other breast. Tomosynthesis screens the whole breast, not just the problem area.

What to Expect From a Tomosynthesis Exam

A tomosynthesis exam may be used as a screening tool in conjunction with traditional 2-D digital mammography. As with a digital mammogram, the technologist will take images from different angles.

During the tomosynthesis portion of the exam, the X-ray arm of the mammography machine makes a quick arc over the breast, taking a series of breast images at a number of angles.

The whole procedure should take approximately the same amount of time as that of a traditional digital mammogram, and the patient experience is very similar.

Convenient Locations for 3-D Mammography

We offer digital breast tomosynthesis at the following University Hospitals locations:

UH Cleveland Medical Center Breen Breast Health Pavilion
11100 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

UH Ahuja Medical Center
3999 Richmond Road
Beachwood, Ohio 44122

UH Bedford Medical Center
44 Blaine Avenue
Bedford, OH 44146

UH Conneaut Medical Center
158 West Main Road
Conneaut, OH 44030

UH Elyria Medical Center
630 East River Street
Elyria, OH 44035

UH Geauga Medical Center
13207 Ravenna Road
Chardon, Ohio 44024

UH Geneva Medical Center
7870 West Main Street
Geneva, OH 44041

UH Parma Medical Center
7007 Powers Boulevard
Parma, OH 44129

UH Portage Medical Center
6847 North Chestnut Street
Ravenna, OH 44266

UH Richmond Medical Center
27100 Chardon Road
Richmond Heights, OH 44143

UH St. John Medical Center
A Catholic hospital
29000 Center Ridge Road
Westlake, OH 44145

UH Samaritan Medical Center
1025 Center Street
Ashland, OH 44805

UH Avon Health Center
1997 Healthway Drive
Avon, OH 44011

UH Broadview Heights Health Center
5901 East Royalton Road
Broadview Heights, OH 44147

UH Minoff Health Center at Chagrin Highlands
3909 Orange Place
Orange Village, OH 44122

UH Concord Health Center
7500 Auburn Road
Concord Township, OH 44077

UH Fairlawn Health Center
3800 Embassy Parkway
Fairlawn, OH 44333

UH Samaritan Health Center
2212 Mifflin Avenue
Ashland, OH 44805

UH Westlake Health Center
960 Clague Road, Suite 1200
Westlake, OH 44145

Southwest General Brunswick Medical Center
4065 Center Road
Brunswick, OH 44212

Southwest General Health Center
18697 Bagley Road
Middleburg Heights, Ohio 44130

UH Mobile Health Screenings Unit
Multiple locations available
View Schedule

Other mammography locations affiliated with University Hospitals offer full-field digital mammography (2-D).