The new breast CT scanning machine is being developed at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. Doctor Karen Lindfors – a radiology professor at the Med Center – says unlike mammography in which the breast is squeezed between two plates, the CT requires no compression.
"It really is quite different. The women lie on their stomachs and their breast comes down through a hole in the table and a scanner is passed once around the breast and it’s only the breast and the whole scan of each breast takes about 16 or 17 seconds."
The scanner takes images of virtual slices of the breast – about 300 images per breast. Computers then assemble the images into highly detailed, 3-dimensional pictures.
Researchers say it provides a more unobstructed view of breast tissues than can be seen on mammography.