According to the American Cancer Society, mammograms are the best weapon against breast cancer. A woman’s lifetime chance of developing breast cancer is 1 in 8.
New technology is improving early detection and treatment of breast cancer.
The 3D mammography screening is now in all the Monument Heath Black Hills locations and the technology advancement helps keep patients in the area from traveling elsewhere to get their 3D screenings, which helps improve early detection.
Mammograms can find breast cancer early, when it is too small to be felt or seen. The new 3D technology improves early detection and treatment of breast cancer. The upgrade from the 2D to 3D imaging, has it’s benefits.
Ashley Kopp, Manager Medical Imaging Services at Monument Health, says, “The advantage of going from 2D to 3D is better visualization of any abnormalities in the breast tissue and especially those women who have dense tissue – the abnormalities are better seen. Our recall rates are better, there are less false results reported, so the results are much more accurate.”
Digital mammography uses traditional X-rays, but it captures them as digital information, which can be stored electronically, transmitted, displayed, analyzed and manipulated in a number of ways.
Early detection of breast cancer saves lives, so the component of screenings are key to survival.
Kopp says, “The importance of having a screening mammography is, if you were to have any abnormality. Early detection is what saves your life.”
Guyla Ness has been getting screened for 36 years and has a family history of breast cancer, she is the first patient in Sturgis to be screened with the new technology and describes the experience as a little uncomfortable but not painful and that factor should not deter women from getting the exam.
Ness says, “There is a lot of reluctance on the part of some women to have a mammogram because they fear it is going to be painful but it really isn’t a painful experience and its important to have a yearly mammogram, especially if there is a history in your family.”
Besides an annual mammogram after the age of 45, another prevention recommendation is a monthly breast exam.
Often times you hear different guidelines of when to get the screening, but Kopp says to visit with your health care provider to decide when you should have your first mammogram.
The 3D technology is offered in all of the Monument Health facilities, which includes Custer, Lead-Deadwood, Rapid City, Spearfish and Sturgis.