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No compression, no pain: 3-D breast imaging offers an alternative to mammograms

This new mammogram alternative has no compression, which means no pain.

SARASOTA, Fla. — You hear all the time, especially during October, that mammograms can save lives. But, many women don't get them because they're painful. 

There's new technology here in Tampa Bay that is changing that. 

The Koning 3-D digital breast imaging system is the first commercially available 3-D breast CT scanner ever designed specifically to image the entire breast with a single scan and no compression. 

So, there's no pain. 

A woman lays on the scanner and in 10 seconds a 3-D, 360-degree image is taken of each breast. It's a screening and diagnostic mammogram at the same time. 

The doctor can see the 3-D image from any angle, which means small breast cancers are more easily detected. It also only exposes the breasts to low-dose radiation. 

Dr. Gerald Grubbs with Sarasota Interventional Radiology, where the system is located, says for some women a typical mammogram could be as much as 25 pounds of compression. This changes that painful experience. 

"We're now able to do what we need to do which is painlessly screen women for breast cancer. It's very exciting. Quite honestly it's disruptive technology. This is going to change the way things have been done almost identically 25 or more years in radiology," he said.

Tracey Li needed a biopsy of an abnormal lesion. She wasn't excited about having to have another mammogram. She instead had the Koning 3-D digital breast imaging done. 

"I had put off a mammogram this year, I used COVID as an excuse, but mostly I just hate having them done. I do find them painful, I don't know if everybody does, I do. I don't like doing them, I will never miss one again and I will always ask for this type of mammogram if it's available to me," she said.

You can learn more about the Koning 3D digital breast imaging here

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Prevention is key when it comes to fighting cancer. Here are resources to get started: 

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