UAMS Breast Center First in Central Arkansas To Offer 3-D Mammograms

By Holland Doran

The Breast Center at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute announces the addition 3-D mammography technology to its full array of services. The UAMS Breast Center is the only facility in central Arkansas to offer this advanced breast cancer screening tool.

Known as breast tomosynthesis, the 3-D screening technology has been shown to detect a 41 percent increase of invasive breast cancers and a 29 percent increase of all breast cancers, according to a study published in the June 25, 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The UAMS Breast Center routinely uses tomosynthesis technology for all women receiving baseline — or first-time — mammograms, those who have previously been diagnosed with breast cancer and all women known to have dense breast tissue. It also is available for any woman by request. To request an appointment at the UAMS Breast Center, call (501) 526-6100.

While digital mammography is still considered one of the most advanced breast cancer screening tools available, tomosynthesis provides a view of the structures within the breast —  such as milk ducts, fat, ligaments and blood vessels — from angles not available on a traditional 2-D image.

“This new technology is especially helpful for screening women with dense breast tissue, since it allows us to examine the breast tissue more closely and accurately than ever before,” said Robert Fincher, M.D., medical director of the UAMS Breast Center. “We can look at sections of the breast as thin as one millimeter, which allows us to detect breast cancers while they are smaller and more likely to be curable.”

The JAMA study, titled “Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in Combination with Digital Mammography,” involved almost 500,000 exams at 13 academic health centers and community-based screening sites across the country.

Not only is tomosynthesis a significant advancement in detecting breast cancer, it also has been shown to reduce the number of women called back for additional, unnecessary testing by 15 percent.

“By reducing the number of women who have to return for additional testing, we not only save money but also reduce stress and anxiety,” Fincher said.

In addition to screening and diagnostic mammography, UAMS Breast Center offers imaging and procedures including breast MRI, ultrasound, cyst aspiration, needle localization, core biopsy (stereotactic, ultrasound and MRI guided) and ductogram.

Fincher pioneered virtually every breast imaging procedure in Arkansas, including both stereotactic and ultrasound-guided core biopsy. He has interpreted more than 200,000 mammograms and performed more than 15,000 breast ultrasounds, 8,000 needle localizations and 7,000 core biopsies.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.