Patients receive a much clearer picture of breast health with 3D Mammography technology.
Breast health and the importance of screening early for breast cancer is something all women should be aware of beyond October’s annual breast health month, Riverside Walter Reed leadership on the Middle Peninsula is reminding the community this month.
“I had breast cancer and survived it,” said Paige Slemp, Mammographer, Riverside Walter Reed Hospital. “That’s what I tell our patients. You can survive it. You can get through it.”
Especially when you catch it early.
Riverside Walter Reed Hospital helps patients detect breast cancer early thanks to the 3D Mammography technology it offers.
Mammograms, which are x-ray images of the breast, have long been crucial in diagnosing breast cancer. With the advent of new technology, 3D mammography has been shown to detect more breast cancer, reduce the amount of “false positives” and cut down on the need for women to get additional images following a standard 2D mammogram. Riverside Walter Reed Hospital’s staff, physicians, and patients are excited about this new screening option in women’s imaging services and the clarity it can provide.
While the procedure is almost identical to the traditional 2D mammogram, using compression and taking images of the breast, 3D Mammography, or breast tomosynthesis as it is technically known, involves an x-ray arm that sweeps in an arc over the breast taking multiple images at different angles. A computer then converts the images into a stack of thin layers, allowing the radiologist to review breast tissue one layer at a time.
What that means for patients is a much clearer picture of their breast health for radiologists looking for abnormalities and tumors. It also cuts down on the need for multiple tests, saving women a lot of angst about potentially positive diagnoses.
Research has proven the effectiveness of 3D Mammography, demonstrating increases in early detection of breast cancer by as much as 54 percent. In addition, having a 3D image has resulted in a 41 percent increase in invasive breast cancer detection, and compared to other scans it has been shown to catch cancers up to 15 months earlier.
According to estimates from the American Cancer Society, nearly 253,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2017. Detecting cancers early is key to improving survival rates, and improving quality of life, as masses found earlier will likely result in less aggressive treatment.
Call 804-693-8865 to schedule a 3D Mammography appointment at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital.
Who needs a mammogram?
Here is the latest guidance from Riverside on mammograms by age for women at average risk for breast cancer:
- 40-50: Women should be offered screening mammography starting at this age, with when to start being a shared decision between doctor and patient.
- 40-75: Speak with your health care provider about getting a yearly mammogram.
- 76-plus: Shared decision should be made whether to continue screenings beyond this age, based on the patient’s health status and longevity.
**Note: Women at high risk for breast cancer should talk with their doctor about screening recommendations.
Published: November 6, 2017