Breast Cancer is the second most common cancer in women, affecting over 3 million women across the United States. Even though the death rate has been decreasing since 1989, other than lung cancer, breast cancer still has the highest death rate for women. This decrease is thought to be the result of increased awareness, the advancement of treatments, and earlier detection through screening. Clara Barton Hospital is excited to announce that they are now offering state-of-the-art GeniusTM 3D Mammography exams by Hologic.
A 3D mammography exam allows doctors to examine breast tissue layer by layer. So, instead of viewing all of the complexities of breast tissue in a flat image, as with conventional 2D mammography, fine details are more visible and no longer hidden by the tissue above or below.
“Offering 3D mammography gives us the opportunity to give our patients access to some of the best life-saving screening technology available,” said Dr. Thompson, Radiologist at Clara Barton Hospital. “With a 3D mammogram we receive clear, detailed images that allow us to better evaluate the entire breast. Rather than producing only a couple images, it collects hundreds, enabling us to see each layer of tissue, slice by slice, increasing cancer detection without adding any extra time to our patient’s exam or exposing them to more radiation.”
3D mammography offers multiple benefits such as:
- Better detection – Regardless of the size and density of breast tissue, the higher resolution imaging aids in early detection, catching 20-65% more invasive breast cancers than the standard 2D mammogram.
- Better comfort – The SmartCurve system’s curved compression surface improves comfort in 93% of patients who reported moderate to severe discomfort with standard compression.
- Fewer unnecessary callbacks – A greater peace of mind is provided by reducing the chance of unnecessary callbacks by up to 40% compared to the standard 2D mammogram.
- Quick scan time – The GeniusTM 3D Mammography exams offers one of the fastest scan times, limiting time under compression to less than 4 seconds.
- No additional radiation exposure – With a quick scan time, GeniusTM 3D Mammography exams take both 2D images and 3D images at the same time, reducing time of radiation exposure.
“A common analogy that is used to better understand 3D mammography is to think of the images retrieved from the screening as the pages assembled in a book,” said Betty Evers, Director of Radiology at Clara Barton Hospital. “When looking at a closed book, the cover is all you can examine, similar to 2D imagery. 3D mammography gives our radiologist the ability to examine hundreds of images in detail, much like opening a book and looking through it, page by page.”
While a 2D mammogram is still sufficient for a woman with normal breast tissue, only 4 x-ray images are taken during the standard mammogram. With the GeniusTM 3D Mammography exam, the equipment arcs over the breast taking 300-600 high quality images allowing radiologists to examine tissue slice by slice. This allows for more accurate early-stage cancer detection and can closer examine “areas of concern” to determine if a cyst is concerning or harmless.
From the patient’s point of view, very little is different during the actual procedure of a 3D mammogram compared to a 2D mammogram. Most woman will have the opportunity to use the curved paddles designed for patient comfort and experience a similar scan time, but the main difference lies in the superior imaging.
“One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and that is something we want to be on the front side of,” said Jim Blackwell CEO of Clara Barton Hospital. “We knew that investing in the Hologic Genius 3D Mammography screening equipment was the right decision in order to ensure better protection for our patients. Our goal is to keep excellent healthcare options close to home.”
3D mammograms are available on-site Monday through Friday for patient convenience. To showcase this new investment, the public is invited to Clara Barton Hospital for an open house that will be held on Tuesday, October 1st from 4 – 7 PM. The mammography team will be on-site to explain the advantages of 3D mammography and give tours of the new and improved mammography suite. Prizes will be given away and refreshments will be provided.
To find out if 3D mammography could be of benefit to you, talk with your provider about scheduling a mammogram, or for more information about 3D Mammography CLICK HERE.