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Unlike mammography, in which the breast is squeezed between two plates, the breast CT requires no breast compression. The patient lies face down on a padded table. The table has a circular opening in it, through which the patient places one breast at a time. A CT machine under the table rotates around each breast. Scanning takes about 17 seconds per breast.
The breast CT was developed by UC Davis radiology professor John Boone in collaboration with Lindfors, J. Anthony Seibert, also a radiology professor at UC Davis, and Thomas R. Nelson, a radiology professor at UC San Diego. The project was funded by $6 million in grants from the California Breast Cancer Research Program, the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.
Computed tomography is used every day to scan brains, lungs, abdomens and pelvises. But imaging experts long ago dismissed CT as impractical for breast cancer screening, assuming it would require too much radiation.
Boone, a medical physicist, decided to revisit the issue, recognizing that radiation-dose estimates for breast CT were based on use of standard CT machines, which would require the breast and entire chest to be scanned together. When Boone recalculated radiation doses based on scanning the breast alone, he found that CT imaging would use no more radiation than mammography.
This article was prepared by Women's Health Weekly editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2005, Women's Health Weekly via NewsRx.com.
<<Women's Health Weekly -- 12/23/05>>