3D Technology Comes to Coral Springs to be Used for Breast Cancer
By David Volz / October 1, 2016

Breast Cancer is a terrible disease that everyone should take seriously. Because of extensive research and the efforts of many people, advances have been made so that if the cancer is detected early on, there is a strong likelihood of surviving breast cancer.

At Broward Health Coral Springs Women's Center, upgrades have been made on all mammography equipment. The Center recently began using 3D technology known as tomography in addition to standard digital imaging for breast cancer detection.

"3D is considered experimental but it is accepted by many organizations," said Amanda Rook, lead mammographer at Broward Health Coral Springs Women's Center. "Where a standard mammogram is two dimensional with this new technology we have more data for the radiologist. The 3D mammography enables the radiologist to better visualize lesions that breast tissue might have obscured. The 3D mammography technology allows us to create 3D images which provide more information."
Breast Cancer

With the 3D system, the technology does much of the work. A Hologic system is used and doctors receive 3D images with the same dose of radiation of traditional mammograms. "We gain all the benefits of an in depth mammogram," said Rook.

Breast cancer is more common in women but it can affect men as well. There are newer tests and treatments coming along but there are things people can do to protect themselves. One way is to have regular mammograms. Women should get a mammogram every year starting as early as age 35 to 40 especially if there is a history in their family of breast cancer. It is also a good idea to get a clinical breast exam every year by a doctor. Women should also conduct self-breast exams and be aware of any changes in their breasts.

"There is a 95 survival rate from breast cancer if there is early detection," said Rook. "The biggest thing is awareness and knowing how to do a self-breast exam. The earlier the detection, the better the survival rate. Women should stay on top of it and know what is happening with their breasts. They should check for lumps in their breasts."

There is more research taking place in the fight against breast cancer. At Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami, there are a number of interesting developments taking place.

At the Center, two trials have begun that study immunotherapy in patients with breast cancer. The goal of immunotherapy is to boost the patient's own immune system to fight cancer cells. The benefit, in contrast to traditional chemotherapy and radiation, is fewer side effects and the that these treatments only attack cancer cells and spare other, healthy body cells. Researchers are also currently testing the use of vaccines in the fight against breast cancer.

Sylvester researchers are studying a new PARP inhibitor in metastatic patients carrying the BRCA gene. Currently, no PARP inhibitors are on the market for the treatment of cancer. They are only being used in clinical trials. The first results of the trial are very encouraging, according to Patrick Bartosch, spokesperson for

In early 2016, Sylvester researchers began the DePICT trial in Broward County. Sylvester is the only cancer center offering this trial, in which advanced-stage breast cancer patients are matched with clinical trials. For many patients with stage IV breast cancer, clinical trials are their last hope, according to Patrick Bartosch, spokesperson for Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Patients who participate in clinical trials may survive longer than expected. He referred to a woman who was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in 2006. "She is still alive and well today even though her cancer was never cured. She went through several treatment programs and clinical trials at Sylvester. A survival time that long would have been unheard of a few years ago. Often, if treatments fail, patients now have the option to participate in clinical trials that help rein in their cancers," said Bartosch.

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