By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – More than 40% of women in the United States have dense breasts which can make it hard to find small cancers on a mammogram, but researchers are testing a new technology that could help.

It is a 3-dimensional ultrasound called SoftVue.

During the exam, the patient lies on her stomach, and her breast is placed into a warm water bath. In two to four minutes, the machine creates a 3D image using sound waves.

soft New Technology Can Help Detect Breast Cancer In Some Women

SoftVue exam (WBZ-TV)

There is no radiation and no compression of the breast.

While SoftVue probably would not replace a woman’s annual mammogram, it might be used in conjunction with mammography for women with dense breasts, because by creating 3D images doctors can measure tissue differences which might signal an abnormality.

Researchers are recruiting 10,000 patients at several sites around the country to take part in the study.

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