SPRINGDALE—A new technology available in Northwest Arkansas helps doctors detect breast cancer earlier and reduced the number of unnecessary callbacks for additional testing.
Northwest Breast Imaging Center at Willow Creek in Springdale now utilizes 3D mammography, which provides greater clarity and accuracy in breast cancer detection compared to the previously used 2D imaging technology. This means that fewer women are called back for additional testing that because of false positive results. According to studies, it can reduce the callbacks by 40%, according to a press release from Northwest Health Systems.
Clinicians also report that the better images detect some cancers that may not have shown up in 2D imaging.
“The 3D mammography really allows us to look through the breast, millimeter by millimeter, taking away the confusion caused by overlying tissue above and below an area,” explains Christie Phelan, MD, radiologist at the Northwest Breast Imaging Center at Willow Creek.
The technology is already getting attention from both patients and lawmakers Rep. Steve Womack recently visited the center to learn more about the technology.
“The 3D mammography has been called a game-changer – the biggest advance in breast cancer screening in 30 years,” said Dan McKay, CEO, Northwest Health System. “We’re thrilled to have this ground-breaking mammography equipment available in our community and are pleased to demonstrate the technology to Rep. Womack. 3D mammography will save and improve women’s lives while also lowering health care costs; a win-win for women in and around the community.”
One might wonder how the new technology compares in comfort for the patient given that mammograms are known to cause some discomfort. The good news is, the increased scrutiny does not increase the pain.
“For the patient, 3D mammography feels much like a regular 2D exam,” Dr. Phelan adds. “But the added advantage is all the extra information the radiologist gets, which I think is every radiologist’s dream. 3D mammography is particularly useful for women who have a personal or family history of breast cancer and women with dense breasts.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 3D mammography in February 2011. Over 300 U.S. imaging sites have installed the system to date. Women wishing to schedule a mammogram or have questions about this important breast health procedure, please call 479-750-6660.