Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Apr 5, 2019


Digital breast tomosynthesis, better known as 3D mammography, provides such precise imaging that many women can be saved from needing breast biopsies.  The procedure captures multiple images of the breast from varying angles and a computer synthesizes them into a 3D image allowing the radiologist to examine each image layer by itself.  Conventional mammography captures only two images: top to bottom and side to side.

The UK’s National Health Service Breast Screening Programme surveyed nearly 31,000 women who were imaged with both conventional mammography or 3D mammography.  The data showed that use of 3D mammography along with conventional mammography would have cut the percentage of women referred for biopsy nearly in half from 69% to 36%.   This enhanced technique also reduced the percentage of biopsies that turned out benign and therefore unnecessary from 75 to 52%.

Three-D mammography is particularly helpful for women with very large, dense, or scarred breasts.  It is becoming increasingly available in most cities.

If you are facing your annual mammogram, ask your doctors if the 3-D technique might be a good fit for you.

Nisha Sharma, Michelle McMahon, Isobel Haigh, Yan Chen, Barbara J. G. Dall. The Potential Impact of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis on the Benign Biopsy Rate in Women Recalled within the UK Breast Screening Programme. Radiology, 2019; 180809 DOI: 10.1148/radiol.2019180809

#Mammography #tomosynthesis #3Dmammography #breastbiopsy