The odds of beating breast cancer have never been better, thanks to advancements in early detection and treatment. Iowa Specialty Hospital joins this fight by offering 3D mammography beginning December 19, 2017.
3D mammography, or Tomosyntheses, is a screening and diagnostic test for breast cancer offering women and their physicians a more accurate way to detect the presence of breast abnormalities. Traditional technology, or 2D mammography, gives physicians two views of each breast from right angles, taken from the top and side of the breast. Breast tissue can sometimes overlap, creating an illusion that makes normal tissue appear abnormal, or possibly hiding potential issues. With 3D technology, multiple images from varying angles are taken, allowing the radiologist to see more clearly through the multiple layers of breast tissue.
Early data suggests that 3D mammograms detect more cancers earlier, which means the cancers are smaller and often easier to treat. There is also greater accuracy in pinpointing size, shape, and location of abnormalities. This can result in finding cancers that might be missed with conventional 2D mammography. It also means less chance of being called back for more images.
“This enhanced technology offers more definitive results,” said Abby Kirstein, leader of the radiology department. “If you can remove the dense tissue from in front of and behind the cancer, it will stand out, making diagnosis much easier. This may also mean fewer false positives and ultimately less stress and cost for many women.”
With 2D mammography, between five to 12 percent of women are called back for follow-up testing, which can result in false positives and unnecessary additional follow-up testing, including biopsies. The 3D technology has been found to reduce that number by 15 percent.
A physician referral is necessary for mammograms. When visiting with your provider, ask to be referred to Iowa Specialty Hospital in Belmond or Clarion for your 3D mammogram.