United Regional Offers the Latest Technology For Improved Screening and Detecting Breast Cancer

More and more women are getting mammograms to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages. As a result, breast cancer deaths are on the decline.

Digital mammograms are still the best method to detect breast cancer early before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms and when it is easier to treat. 3D Mammography uses high-powered computing to convert digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or slices – building what is essentially a 3-dimensional mammogram. During the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple breast images in just seconds.

A computer then produces a 3D image of breast tissue in one millimeter layers allowing the radiologist to see breast tissue detail in a way never before possible. Instead of viewing all the complexities of breast tissue in a flat image, the doctor can examine the tissue a millimeter at a time. Fine details are more clearly visible, no longer hidden by the tissue above and below.

This technology helps radiologists find very small cancers and rule out false positives, reducing the number of women who are called back for a diagnostic mammogram. It is especially helpful in detecting cancers in dense breast tissue, which 80 percent of women have.

If the 3D mammography does reveal an abnormality, biopsies are the only definitive way to confirm if it is benign (non-cancerous) or not. Stereotactic breast biopsy is a safe, minimally invasive form of breast biopsy, which can more accurately pinpoint the mass. It is used to obtain tiny samples from an abnormal breast mass for examination by a pathologist.

Two x-ray images of breast tissue are taken at different angles. A computer uses the images to locate the abnormality, calculate precise coordinates, and guide the physician in placing a thin hollow needle at the target to collect a sample of the tissue. The procedure is completed on an outpatient basis with a minimum of discomfort and recovery time.

Importance of Getting Regular Screening Mammograms

By offering women the latest technology in mammography, United Regional hopes to increase the number of area women who will be routinely screened.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Statistics indicate that one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her lifetime. The stage at which breast cancer is detected influences a woman’s chance of survival. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.

Location and Hours

Women’s Imaging is located on the first floor of the Bridwell Tower and provides services from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

To schedule a mammogram or have questions, please call 940-764-5050 or visit MyChart.

Click to download a detailed booklet containing information on our comprehensive breast care.

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