A breast cancer screening tool that doesn’t squash your breasts into a painful sandwich? Yes, please.
A new type of breast imaging has been approved by the FDA. Called the Koning Breast Computed Tomography (KBCT), it is now commercially available in the United States.
It has several benefits over supplementary testing typically used after mammography, like breast MRIs or ultrasounds.
That’s because it uses something called cone beam technology.
For the screening, the patient lies chest-down on a table. There is an opening for the breast to slip through so it hangs down, negating the need for any compression. Then, the CT device circles around the breast underneath the table, using cone beam technology to take a 3D, 360-degree image.
The scan takes less than one minute!
Isotropic 3D imaging like the KBCT is a more accurate option than the standard 2D imaging because it allows doctors to see even very small lesions. They’re able to view them at multiple angles and with exceptional clarity, leading to less false positives (and less unnecessary anxiety for the patient).
It’s especially helpful for women with dense breast tissue because it removes the problem of tissue overlap. Traditional mammograms can miss cancerous spots in dense tissue because they look too similar to distinguish between them.
The radiation dosage is comparable to a diagnostic mammogram, and the machine only exposes the breast to low-dose radiation, rather than the whole chest area.
As of now, it is only FDA-approved as a diagnostic tool, meaning it will take place after a traditional mammogram or a palpation of the breast tissue shows a suspicious lump. It will be used as a replacement for a breast MRI or ultrasound.
Since the cost is comparable to other breast diagnostic tools, most insurers should cover it.
However, currently it is only available at the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center in Tennessee. Ask your doctor about its availability in your area.
Hopefully it will be available to women everywhere soon!
Learn more in the video below.
C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband, son, and dog.