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Building on basics A gentler, more accurate mammogram?

CT breast imaging may outperform mammography.

Current mammography finds breast lesions at a median size of 11 millimeters, roughly the size of a garbanzo bean.

John M. Boone, professor of radiology and biomedical engineering, has designed a machine that may perform better.

With fellow radiology professors Anthony Seibert and Karen Lindfors at UC Davis and Tom Nelson at UC San Diego, Boone has built a prototype breast CT that has the potential to detect lesions in the 3- to 5-millimeter range, about the size of a pea.

That would allow doctors to find and treat tumors 12 to 18 months earlier — the time it takes a typical 3- or 5-millimeter tumor to grow to 11 millimeters.

Boone says the 15-year survival rate for breast cancer, now about 86 percent, could increase to 97 percent if breast tumors were routinely detected in the 3- to 5-millimeter range.


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