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CT Imaging could lead to painless mammograms

A significant advance in digital imaging called Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) is providing higher quality images to detect breast cancer and could pave the way for pain-free mammograms.

Avice O'Connell, a radiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, was invited to summarize the studies conducted on CBCT at the Radiological Society of North America's 96th Scientific Assembly and Annual meeting. O'Connell is optimistic about the potential of CBCT, which is easier on women as it allows accurate breast scans without pulling, flattening, or compressing tissue.

"It's [CBCT's] greatest potential may be as an additional tool for diagnosing difficult cases. It could be extremely useful in locating tumors that are obscured by dense breast tissue, or distinguishing between benign and malignant lesions," said O'Connell.

While the new research is promising, researchers do not believe that CBCT will replace mammograms as the primary screening tool. More studies and clinical trials are needed to verify it's best usage in breast cancer detection.

The American Cancer Society recommends women aged 40 and older to begin undergoing yearly mammograms and continue to do so for the rest of their lives. 
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