Mammography is one of the best tools for detecting breast cancer. The current technology utilizes two-dimensional imaging to see through breast tissue and fat, but it is not always accurate.

"One of the problems we have as breast imagers is when we look at a mammogram, there may be an area that looks like it might be something, but you're not sure," local breast radiologist Dr. Stephen L. Rose said.

The uncertainty leads to more invasive procedures and anxiety for the patient.

The Bobette Lindig Breast Center at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital recently began participating in a clinical trial of a new imaging technology called breast tomosynthesis.

"This is just an evolution of the mammogram," Rose said.

The experimental technology combines data from a series of conventional mammogram imaging to create a three-dimensional image of the breast.

"What this does is peel things away. So if it's just overlapping breast tissue, we can see it's just overlapping breast tissue," Rose said.

Benegene Kring, 65, decided to participate in Food and Drug Administration trial after her conventional mammogram showed a suspicious mass.

"I think it's definitely the way to go because they were having trouble getting a good picture of the image with the regular technique, so they needed some extra strength. This gave it to them," Kring said.

Rose believes breast tomosynthesis provides improved diagnostic and screening accuracy, fewer recalls and a better look inside the breast.

"If it is truly a cancer or small area that we should be concerned about, you see the margins of the area so much better. It tends to jump out at you," he said.

The FDA still has to review the study to determine if and when breast tomosynthesis will be available in the United States.

To participate in the clinical trial you must be age 35 or older, never have had any breast surgery and not be pregnant or breast feeding.

For more information, call (713) 242-3717.