Netcare Femina Radiology is the first hospital in Pretoria
and the Greater Tshwane to use Hologic’s 3D technology to screen women for
The hospital took the decision to start using Hologic’s new
Selenia Dimensions machine, which uses 3D technology known as tomosynthesis, as
it increases the chance of detecting breast cancer by 30%, and reduces the need
for further investigation by 40%, says Dr Herman Fourie of Netcare Femina
“Breast cancer comprises 25% of cancers affecting women,
with one in eight being affected by it at some point in their lives. If
detected early, there is an excellent chance of recovery,” adds Dr Fourie.
The role of 3D
“Realising the role 3D technology could play in early
detection of breast cancer and in reducing the need for further investigation,
Netcare Femina Radiology decided to offer the 3D mammogram to our patients,
together with a 2D mammogram (a special X-ray to detect lumps in the breast),
at no extra cost,” he says. "An added benefit of the new technology is that less
compression is needed and therefore the test may be completed without being
painful," he observes.
Dr Fourie advises all women to examine their breasts
regularly, and if they are over 40, to visit their gynaecologist annually, who
will then advise them whether they need a breast ultrasound, digital breast
tomosynthesis and mammography.
Looking out for the
Symptoms of breast cancer may include swelling in the
armpit, any change in the size, shape, texture, or temperature of the breast,
lumps in the breast or underarm, unusual swellings, discharge etc. Should you
have any of these symptoms, he recommends you visit your gynaecologist
The tomosynthesis is performed with a four-second sweep of
the X-ray tube to give 1mm thin images of the breast. These fine images reduce
the impact of overlapping breast tissue and allow for the detection of cancer
even in dense tissue.
A further advantage of the Selena Dimension is that it uses
digital technology instead of analogue, which reduces the levels of radiation
exposure to patients, observes Dr Fourie.
“We take breast care seriously and pride ourselves on being
at the forefront of new breast care technology,” says Netcare Femina general
hospital manager, Joey Breedt.