How does CT Mammography Enable Detection of Breast Abnormalities?

Computed tomography or CT is routinely utilized for scanning lungs, brain, pelvis and abdomen. However, the technique was dismissed as unusable for screening of breast cancer. This is attributed to the assumption that a large quantity of radiations might be needed. Computed tomography study of the breasts cannot offer a replacement to traditional mammography in either diagnosis or screening. However, the technique possesses an exceptional capability to display both enhanced iodide concentration as well as anatomic changes in a cancer. Therefore, this technique offers several benefits over the conventional form of mammography.  

During the initial evaluation, CT mammography was instinctively found to be comparable as well as a better alternative to the standard mammography techniques for detecting as well as evaluating breast cancer. In addition, breast CT is also a useful diagnostic tool for detecting breast cancer, screening, follow-up study for post irradiation of breast cancer and post mastectomy patients. Moreover, this investigational technology for diagnosing breast cancer at the early stages is expected to be superior to mammography for detection of breast lesions. Besides this, it is also more convenient for females.

The technique of computed tomographic or CT mammography of the breasts utilizes the traditional body scanner. Moreover, the method also has the capability of detecting the breast cancers which cannot be detected using other methods.

The indications for CT study of breasts are:

  • Clinical detection of breast cancer, particularly with a mammographically occult lesion.
  • Abnormal mammographic findings such as microcalcifications, architectural distortions, tumorous or cancerous growth as well as uncertain location of lesions.
  • Assessment of postlumpectomy or postbiopsy breast cancer when the primary irradiation therapy is under consideration.


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