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3D Mammography

St. Joseph Hospital’s 3D mammography machine has enhanced breast cancer screening for patients. The new technology provides radiologists with another tool to diagnose breast cancer and enhances the hospital’s already robust breast cancer screening program.

Primary care physicians may recommend their patients for 3D mammography. The new technology uses a technique called “breast tomosynthesis,” which reveals fine details that may otherwise be hidden. The final images are then converted into a stack of very thin layers, or “slices,” for the radiologist to review. Conventional 2D mammograms can be limiting due to overlapping layers of tissue, which can sometimes produce unclear results, false alarms, or worse — cancer being missed. By producing a series of detailed breast images, the radiologist can better evaluate the breast layer by layer. Greater accuracy means better breast cancer detection and a reduced chance of being called back for additional screening.

For patients, the process is very similar to receiving a routine mammogram. The technologist positions the patient, compresses the breast, and takes images from different angles. The 3D exam lasts only a few seconds longer per image and uses very low X-ray energy, keeping radiation exposure below FDA guidelines. No additional breast compression is required.

Contact your primary care physician to learn if 3D mammography is right for you.

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