When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is the best prevention. Regular mammograms are an important tool in the early detection of breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. You are advised to follow your primary care provider's recommendation for mammogram screening. For women at average risk for developing breast cancer, screening mammograms are usually recommended beginning at age 40. Ask for a referral to Grundy County Memorial Hospital, where a brand new private Imaging Suite includes the latest 3D technology for the early detection of breast cancer, and radiologic technologists have extensive experience in breast imaging.
Grundy County Memorial Hospital is proud to introduce the Hologic Genius™ 3D MAMMOGRAPHY to screen for breast cancer. 3D Mammography, also referred to as breast tomosynthesis, is the newest technology available for early breast cancer detection and has many benefits, including higher detection rates in some patients, fewer recalls and lower doses of radiation.
3D mammography converts digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers to build a three dimensional view of the breast. It is performed in conjunction with the standard 2D digital mammogram.
Medical research suggest that 3D mammography is most beneficial for women with:
• Dense breast tissue as shown by a mammographic image
• Patients with a greater than 20% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer (as determined by your physician using a breast cancer risk evaluation tool)
• Those who have had an abnormal mammogram
A study published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) demonstrated that 3D mammography finds 41 percent more invasive breast cancers, as well as a 29 percent increase in the detection of all breast cancers as compared to conventional 2D mammography alone. The use of 3D mammography has also reduced recall rates for follow-up exams by 15 percent. This decrease in "false positives" is expected to reduce the number of patients needing additional imaging to follow up on possible abnormalities viewed in the 2D screening exam.
Now that 3D mammography is available locally, you may have some questions:
What is a 3D mammography (digital breast tomosynthesis) exam?
3D mammography is much like your annual mammogram but far more accurate in earlier breast cancer detection. 3D works by capturing multiple slices (images) of your breast from several angles. Then, a computer produces a 3D image of your breast tissue in one millimeter slices. Radiologists can review the data, one slice at a time, like turning pages in a book, making it easier for them to see if there is anything to be concerned about.
What are the benefits of 3D mammography?
With conventional digital mammography, the radiologist is viewing all of the overlapped tissues of the breast in one flat 2D image. This can, in some instances, give the illusion of an abnormality even though the breast is normal, and can also mask an actual tumor due to superimposed breast structures.
By looking at the breast tissue in one millimeter slices, the radiologist can provide a more accurate assessment. 3D mammography provides a 25 percent improvement in overall cancer detection rates, finding 40 percent more invasive cancers than conventional mammography. It also means there is less chance of you being called back for a "second look" mammogram because of overlapped normal structures. The "false positive" rates are reduced by up to 40 percent.
What should I expect during the 3D mammography exam?
3D mammography complements the standard 2D exam and is performed at the same time, with the same system. There is no additional breast compression required and it only takes a few seconds longer for each view.
Is there more radiation?
The FDA has found the combination of 3D and standard mammography to be safe and effective for patient use.
Who can have a 3D mammography exam?
It is approved for all women who would be undergoing a standard mammogram, for both screening and diagnostic exams.
What if I choose not to have the 3D portion of the mammogram?
A state of the art standard 2D mammogram will be performed.
Will my insurance cover 3D mammography?
Because 3D mammography is fairly new, not all health insurance companies cover the additional charge for 3D mammography. Grundy County Memorial Hospital has an additional fee of $25 for administering the 3D Mammography exam, due to the additional time necessary for the radiologic technologist and the cost of the new technology. You're encouraged to phone the number on your health insurance card and ask whether your policy covers the cost of 3D mammography. Medicare does cover the additional cost of $25 for 3D Mammography. A nominal additional fee for the radiologist's interpretation of your exam may also apply. Again, insurance companies differ in their decision of whether to cover the added cost of interpreting a 3D mammogram.
When should you get a mammogram?
The American College of Radiology recommends: Annual mammograms for women starting at age 40.
Your primary medical care provider will recommend screening mammograms for you based on your current health status and family history.
At GCMH, you'll find state-of the-art technology, compassionate radiographers with extensive breast imaging experience, and rapid turnaround of test results by board-certified radiologists, all backed by the personalized care the hospital is known for, including:
· convenient screening times
· short wait times - call ahead for same-day screening
· comfortable environment for your exam
· experienced and compassionate technologists
Bring your doctor's order for mammography to Grundy County Memorial Hospital to experience both personal care and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.
Phone 319-824-5081 to schedule an appointment. Same day appointments are often available.