Lifewatch: Breast Cancer Screening

WILMINGOTN -- This year, 200,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and more women than that will see their doctor for an annual mammogram screening.

But now, a new screening method may detect more cancers and cut down on scares that come when you get a false positive.

Doctors at Emory University in Atlanta are testing a new diagnostic tool that cuts false positive results by almost half, and it could give doctors a whole new way to detect abnormalities.

When Dr. Carl D'orsi puts on a special pair of glasses, he sees mammograms in a way they have never been seen before.

He is the first doctor in the United States to test the new diagnostic tool called, Stereoscopic Digital Mammography.

Instead of seeing a mammogram as a flat picture, this technique fuses two images to show the breast in 3-dimensions.  Polarized glasses bring the images together.

"All of a sudden, you have depth. All of a sudden, you can tell what's behind something, what's in front of something, what depth something is at. It's like, 'Oh my God, this is like I'm seeing the world," said Dr. D'orsi.

In a three year Emory University study, Stereo Mammography found more abnormalities and reduced false positive test results by 39%, compared to standard mammograms.

Stereo also had 79% accuracy, while standard mammograms have 57%.

According to Dr. D'orsi, this diagnostic tool could mean quicker diagnosis, fewer recalls for more testing, and less anxiety for patients.

Stereo Mammography is still in the testing stages, but Dr. D'orsi believes it holds a lot of promise for future breast cancer screenings.

Reported by Kristy Ondo