The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday night to send a bill requiring private insurance companies to cover 3D mammography to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s desk. Sen. Joe Crisco, D-Woodbridge, whose wife is currently going through breast cancer treatments, fought back tears as he talked about how his wife had annual mammograms and checkups every four months, and yet has been fighting breast cancer for two months now. “Chemotherapy treatments, surgery, and now she faces 12 sessions of radiation,” Crisco said. “This new technology is offering new opportunities for physicians to diagnose breast cancer in women and provide life saving treatments earlier than ever.”
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Three-dimensional mammography used in conjunction with conventional mammography reduced the rate of false alarms by more than a third compared to women who underwent traditional mammography alone, according to a new study from Yale School of Medicine published in the January issue of the journal Radiology. The study provides further evidence that the advanced technology, also known as breast digital tomosynthesis, represents the “evolution of mammography” for breast cancer screening, said Dr. Melissa Durand, assistant professor of diagnostic radiology at Yale University School of Medicine and one of the study’s authors. “With 3D mammography, women won’t have to experience the anxiety of a call back (for further testing) as often and at the same time they can feel more comfortable that their screening exam will find the types of cancers we worry about,” she said. Unlike conventional mammography that produces two-dimensional images, tomosynthesis produces a series of 3D images that display breast tissue in 1-millimeter sections. The technique reduces the superimposition of breast tissue, which can help radiologists differentiate between abnormalities and normal tissue, thereby decreasing the need for women to return for additional tests.