Peninsula Imaging debuts its state-of-the-art 3-D Hologic Selenia Dimensions digital mammography system
Early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. Cancer found in its earliest stage — while still small and confined to the breast — increases the chance of survival. Until now, the best way to achieve this goal has been the use of conventional digital mammography. However, this provides only two-dimensional images of the breast.
Peninsula Imaging is proud to be the first to offer an exciting new technology to Maryland’s lower Eastern Shore: breast tomosynthesis, or 3-D mammography. Tomosynthesis is the single most significant advancement in breast cancer detection in 30 years. This investment makes it possible for radiologists 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 radiologist can examine the breast in one-millimeter sections at a time. Fine details are more clearly visible, no longer hidden by the tissue above and below. It is similar to being able to read each page of a book rather than trying to peer through all the pages at once.
Mammography patients will find the 3-D tomosynthesis exam very similar to a traditional mammogram. The only noticeable difference is that the machine moves in a quick arc over the breast as it takes a series of images at various angles. The only noticeable difference is that the machine moves in a quick arc over the breast as it takes a series of images at various angles Among the many benefits of 3-D mammography are:
• Reducing the need for additional testing means reducing anxiety: 3-D mammography is better at distinguishing harmless abnormalities from real cancers which means fewer “callbacks.” A callback occurs when a mammogram picks up something suspicious and the radiologist requests the patient return for additional views or an ultrasound. For most women, getting called back usually turns out to be nothing worrisome. The American Cancer Society statistics show that less than 10 percent of women called back for additional testing are diagnosed with breast cancer. Fewer callbacks means less anxiety for patients.
• Breast Density: You may have noticed your annual mammogram report shows a breast composition category. This tells how dense your breast tissue is. Breast density is based on how much fibrous tissue is present. Having dense breast tissue is not abnormal. In fact, about 40% of women have dense breasts. However, it is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer as compared with breast tissue that is less dense. As you may imagine, finding small cancers in dense breasts is challenging. With 3-D mammography, the radiologist is able to visualize one thin layer of breast tissue at a time, which is especially beneficial for women with dense breasts.
• Better cancer detection: Recent large clinical studies have demonstrated a significant increase in the rate of cancer detection with 3-D tomosynthesis versus conventional mammograms. Furthermore, the cancers detected are often smaller and therefore caught in time for a potential cure.
Keep in mind that the vast majority of screening mammograms, including 3-D tomosynthesis, will not show anything worrisome. In the event that one does, however, Peninsula Imaging has all the resources available to provide further workup, including ultrasound and MRI. They encourage one-on-one interaction between patients and radiologists, who are more than willing to go over your findings. If it is determined that a biopsy is necessary, they will personally navigate you through the process in a timely way, so you never feel as if you are alone. The radiologists who provide services at Peninsula Imaging also cover three local hospitals, providing nonstop 24-hour diagnostic care to everyone in their service area.
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