HeathBeat4: New technology is helping doctors detect breast canc - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

HeathBeat4: New technology is helping doctors detect breast cancer early


One in eight. That's the number of women that will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the National Breast Cancer Center. Medical experts say early detection is key.

With so many women being diagnosed with breast cancer in this country, new technology is helping doctors detect it early with a new machine is a digital tomosynthesis mammography.

It uses x-rays to create a three-dimensional picture of the breast. Because this technology is relatively new, it's available at a limited number of hospitals.

One of those, is right here in Siouxland at the Mercy Breast Center in Dakota Dunes.

Dr. Adnan Qalbani is a radiologist there. He said the new breast imaging technology is different from a standard mammogram.

"With the 3D technique we are able to see slice by slice through the breast," said Dr. Adnan Qalbani. "And that allows us, hopefully, to find some more things and to call more things that are normal, normal."

He says one problem with standard mammography is doctors may see something that ends up being normal, but are required to double check.

"Have to have the patient back and review the images and take extra pictures, maybe do an ultrasound and so forth, and we stress out some people that probably don't need to be stressed out," said Dr. Qalbani.

He said out of 1,000 women across the country, 150 are being called back by their doctors for a second look; and, out of those women, only six are being diagnosed with breast cancer.

"Finding six cancers in 1,000 people is like looking for a needle in a haystack," said Dr. Qalbani. "This just helps us make the haystack a lot smaller. This gives us more confidence in calling somebody who is normal, normal. And hopefully we reduce the number of patients we have to call back and stress out over their mammogram."

At this point, this technology is not available to every patient. The center is only using this on a limited number of women because not all insurance providers cover the cost.

Dr. Qalbani said one of the best ways to detect breast cancer early, is to perform a self breast exam once a month.

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