MARYSVILLE – Community Memorial Healthcare (CMH), Marysville, will begin offering 3D mammography to its patients on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.
A 3D mammogram is diagnostic imaging used to detect breast cancer in people with no signs or symptoms of the disease. It can also be used to investigate breast problems, such as a suspicious lump or thickening, according to Mayo Clinic.
CMH formerly offered only 2D mammography, which takes images only from the front and side of the breast. But as technology continues to advance, 3D mammograms are quickly becoming the standard level of care. 3D mammography is primarily the same from the patient’s perspective, but constant images are shot in an arc of slices, to create a 3D image of the breast for radiologists to interpret from. This is especially helpful for use on patients with dense tissue, which is about half of women over 40 years old (the recommended age for mammogram screening).
Funds were raised at the end of 2018 to upgrade the hospital’s current 2D machine to 3D technology, with a $100,000 donation from Landoll Corporation completing the needed $167,000 request – CMH’s largest fundraising request to date.
“The fact that funds were raised so quickly for such a large investment truly shows the desire of the community to stay at the forefront of changing technologies when it comes to our health,” said Curtis Hawkinson, chief executive officer at CMH.
With the GE SenoClaire 3D mammography upgrade, both 2D and 3D images will be able to be taken, as both types of images offer insight to particular breast abnormalities. Combining a 3D mammogram with a standard mammogram can reduce the need for follow-up imaging, reducing patient stress and anxiety, and improve breast cancer detection in dense breast tissue.
To prepare for your 3D mammogram:
- Schedule the test for a time when your breasts are least likely to be tender. If you haven’t gone through menopause, that’s usually during the week after your menstrual period. Your breasts are most likely to be tender the week before and the week during your period.
- Don’t use deodorant before your mammogram. Avoid using deodorants, antiperspirants, powders, lotions, creams or perfumes under your arms or on your breasts. Metallic particles in powders and deodorants can interfere with the imaging.
The images collected during a 3D mammogram are synthesized by a computer to form a 3D picture of each breast. The 3D mammogram images can be analyzed as a whole or examined in small fractions for greater detail.
CMH has 5 certified radiologists to interpret mammography imaging. Due to the nature of the new 3D technology, radiologists will be on-site at CMH twice a week for extended lengths of time to read mammograms – an added win for patients with any radiology needs. If the radiologist sees anything unusual, he or she will determine whether additional testing is needed. If there is a concern, additional testing including ultrasound, MRI, or even a biopsy to remove suspicious cells for pathology testing, may be required.
3D mammograms are required by Kansas law to be fully covered by insurance companies for women over 40 once each year.
To schedule a 3D mammogram, patients or providers may call 785-562-4465.