Digital Mammography

Digital Mammography

At Central Queensland Radiology we use digital mammography equipment. This reduces radiation dose and also reduces the need for repeat mammographies. It also increases image resolution which assists in interpretation. It is most important to bring all prior breast examination films for review and comparison.

Screening for Breast Cancer

Doctors and scientists agree that early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. If we find cancer in its earliest stages, the chances of surviving it are good. Until now, the best way to do that has been with digital mammography. Digital mammography uses a specially designed digital camera and a computer to produce an image that is displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor.

While digital mammography is still one of the most advanced technologies available today, it is only a two-dimensional picture of the breast. Since the breast is composed of pockets of dense tissue surrounded by fat, when x-rayed, it creates an image that looks something like a smoky haze. The overlapping tissue in the image makes it difficult to see tiny spots, called microcalcifications, and other subtle signs of early cancer. In some cases, the radiologist may ask you to come back for a follow-up examination such as diagnostic mammogram to rule out any suspicious areas.

An additional screening tool

For decades doctors have been searching for a technology to help them find very small cancers or rule out “false positives” and reduce the number of women who are called back for a diagnostic mammogram. Scientists have developed a new technology called breast Tomosynthesis, which has been shown in clinical studies to be superior to digital mammography.

Breast Tomosynthesis: A 3D mammogram (Genius)

Breast Tomosynthesis allows doctors to examine breast tissue on layer at a time.  Breast Tomosynthesis may be used in conjunction with traditional digital mammography as part of your annual screening mammogram to capture more breast images. Very low X-ray energy is used during the screening examination so your radiation exposure is safely below the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) guidelines. Breast Tomosynthesis may also be used for a diagnostic mammogram if you happen to be called back for this type of exam.