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HEALTH: 3D Mammograms increse earlty detection of breast cancer

A new study shows 3-D Mammograms may be better at finding cancer than regular scans - and it could be a new breakthrough in the battle against breast cancer.

Researchers found that 3D imaging increased early detection by 29 percent and significantly cut down the number of false positives. ABC News' Karen Travers has more from Washington.

This could be a major breakthrough in the fight against breast cancer.
Dr. Elisa Port, Chief of Breast Surgery The Mount Sinai Hospital,  Anything we can do to pick up cancers that are smaller and at an earlier stage is a huge improvement.

Researchers have found that 3D imaging can can detect cancer better than a traditional mammogram.

The picture gets taken from up here.
Here's how it works - the 3D Mammograms take multiple rapid fire pictures...
Which allow doctors to focus on individual cross sections - kind of like turning the pages of a book.

The study involved nearly a half a million breast scans. More than one-third used the new 3D imaging along with the traditional scans.

Researchers were able to identify tumors like this one that previously could have been missed.

And they found that the 3D Mammograms increased early detection by 29 % and significantly cut down the number of false positives.

Dr. Alice Rim/Cleveland Clinic
A lot of these women did not have to come back for additional imaging.

The 3D image machines do give off more radiation than a traditional mammogram. And they are also more expensive, which means for now, they are still rare.

But doctors said if your health care provider does not offer 3-D imaging

Dr. Alice Rim/Cleveland Clinic
It doesn't mean if you go somewhere and they don't have it that you're going to be mistreated. Right now, there is not enough information to prove that.

Doctors say that more research needs to be done - this type of scan may not be right for all women. But the results are very encouraging.
   
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