Prevention will be the field on which technologies will be developed
During October, the breast cancer awareness month is celebrated around the world, with October 19th being the day proposed by the World Health Organization as the International Day of the Fight against Breast Cancer.
At everis we are committed to improving the quality of life of people using our technology and that is why we have created our ehCOS products. We talked with Dr. Gustavo Torres de la Cuba about how technology allows major advances in the prevention of diseases, breast cancer detection through Tomosynthesis and his experience after five years working as a specialized consultant in the Health area of everis Mexico.
How do you consider that technology has innovated to improve the quality of life and what other technologies do you think will emerge in the future?
I believe that quality of life goes hand in hand with technology and the several different advances in all areas. As a doctor, we are often referred to as “healers”, and we are going to solve something when it is already present, but all tendencies are more towards prevention than cure. Knowing when something is going to happen before it happens gives us a great advantage over different diseases. And it is thanks to this that today the life expectancy exceeds 75 years worldwide, when just about 300 years ago it was around 50. Prevention is, and will be the field on which technologies will be developed that will allow us to continue keeping a high quality of life at advanced ages.
We want to know a little more about this technological trend for the breast cancer detection: the “Tomosynthesis”.
Digital mammary tomosynthesis is a diagnostic imaging technology that allows a greater definition, characterization and localization of breast lesions by eliminating the superposition of structures, whose potential in terms of reducing the rate of diagnostic doubts is widely recognized in several publications and studies. It is a great complement to classical mammography in terms of impact on the patient, cost-benefit and diagnostic capacity.
What are some common uses of this procedure?
Today, there are several Tomosynthesis indications. On the one hand,
the resolution of doubts generated in the 2D images, allowing us to obtain more information about dubious images than that provided in additional projections of focused compression. Several studies have shown that tomosynthesis can substitute focused compressions (mammography), with similar or superior results.
Additionally, it allows the characterization of microcalcifications, detailing these findings in a much better way. On the other hand, it allows an improvement in sensitivity in normal studies, usually in the context of dense breasts. Therefore, it has been found that the cancer detection rate increases by 27% when the 2D image is obtained along with the tomosynthesis.
What type of technology is present in this analysis?
Inspired by Alessandro Vallebona’s tomography, it consists of performing a sequence of mastographic projections gotten within a limited angular range, with subsequent reconstruction of the data acquired in a stack of fine, high-resolution cuts.
The basic requirements are represented by an acceptable dose-organ, and quality of reconstruction in a scanning time fast enough to avoid movement artifacts, and depend on various technological construction factors, among them, the movement of the tube, the angle of the sweep, the typology of the detector, the size of the pixel, the thickness of the reconstructed cut, the number of projections, the angular step between the projections and the reconstruction algorithm.
The characteristics common to all systems of tomosynthesis are the modality of action in cephalocaudal projection and lateral oblique medium, the time of acquisition of (10–20 seconds), and reconstruction (of 40–180 seconds), the thickness of cut (1mm), the modality of visualization (single slice, slab or cine loop), the possibility of making standard projections and selection of MAMO/TOMO with on the spot compression.
How do you think this technology will improve over the years?
It has been almost eight years since the world’s first tomosynthesis digital mammography technology was introduced to the market to address the limitations of conventional 2D imaging. Currently in the United States half of the certified facilities have tomosynthesis, according to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), which makes tomosynthesis the gold standard in the breast examination area.
To this date, this technology has shown that it plays an important role in the detection of breast cancer and will continue to do so in the coming years. Improving the acquisition time and image reconstruction, better resolution and sharpness, as well as improvements in the acquisition of the exam making the study less painful for the patients.