Pink Up: Detecting breast cancer from Xerography to 3-D technology

Pink Up: Detecting breast cancer from Xerography to 3-D technology

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - For more than 30 years, the world of Science and Technology have brought about life saving advancements.

William Whitehead, a doctor at the Breast Cancer Center in Hattiesburg witnessed the genesis of one technology for the diagnosis of  Breast Cancer. That technology was xerox.

"This was a paper image, done with xerography," said Whitehead. "It was a blue and white sheet of paper, and that was the first attempt to image the breast."

Fast forward 40 year to the latest imaging called tomosynthesis, or better known as The 3-D technology.

As a general surgeon, Whitehead helps bring in state of the art equipment like 3-D imaging, to the clinic.

"We'll soon have four machines that will be able to accommodate patients. Our volume is significant, over 30,000 encounters at our Breast Center in the last year for the diagnoses and management of breast cancer," said Whitehead.

Hattiesburg Clinic radiologist Steven Murphy, said the clinic has had the 3-D imaging machine for a year and a half. He explained how 3-D imaging works.

"The detector moves in an arch and takes a lot of images at different angles. Then the computer reconstructs the image into a 3-D image and allows us to look through those layers. And its amazing how things that we couldn't see before, or were obscured, then they come into clear focus," said Murphy.

The biggest advantage is early detection. Murphy said thanks to 3-D imaging, the clinic can detect breast cancer that is only one to two millimeters in size.

"It has increased the number of breast cancers found from approximately 4.2 per thousand up to six per thousand," said Murphy.

He added the accuracy of this imaging prevents multiple clinic visits for patients, numerous scans, tests and even biopsies.

"So, this is just another tool in our war chest of things we use to detect breast cancer in the earliest stages," said Murphy.