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Sanford Radiologist Publishes Breast Cancer Study in JAMA

3D mammography finds more invasive cancers, reduces recalls

Cink_217X142SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Three-dimensional mammography finds significantly more invasive cancers and reduces unnecessary recalls, according to a large, retrospective study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) featuring data from Edith Sanford Breast Center.

The study, “Breast cancer screening using tomosynthesis in combination with digital mammography,” was led by Sarah Friedewald, M.D., of Advocate Lutheran Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, and co-authored by Thomas Cink, M.D., a breast radiologist for Sanford Health in Sioux Falls.  It focused on the impact of 3D mammography at a diverse range of sites across the United States. The study looked at nearly half a million mammograms, including 30,000 from Sanford Health.

Results indicated that 3D mammography lead to a 41 percent increase in invasive cancer detected, a 15 percent decrease in unnecessary recalls for false alarms and a 29 percent increase in the detection of all breast cancers.

“Three-dimensional mammography finds more of the invasive, harmful cancers and saves women the anxiety and cost of having additional screenings for what turns out to be a false alarm,” said Cink. “Women see little difference between a conventional 2D mammogram and a 3D mammogram; the exam takes just a few seconds longer and the positioning is the same, but I believe the real difference is in the enhanced information available to the doctor with a 3D image.”

Edith Sanford Breast Center in Sioux Falls has utilized 3D screening technology since 2012. The program’s radiologists are fellowship trained in breast imaging.

The study was published online in advance of its appearance in a future print issue of JAMA.

About Sanford Health
Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas and is now the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation with locations in 126 communities in nine states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing international clinics in Ghana, Israel, Mexico and China.

Sanford Health includes 39 hospitals, 140 clinic locations and 1,360 physicians in 81 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 26,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North Dakota and South Dakota. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with nearly a $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford. These gifts are making possible the implementation of several initiatives, including global children's clinics, multiple research centers and finding cures for type 1 diabetes and breast cancer. For more information, visit

Tim Gerszewski
Sanford Media Strategist – Sioux Falls Region
(605) 366-2432 /