Southwest Health in Platteville recently added 3D digital mammography technology for breast cancer screening.
The new 3D breast imaging system –the first of its kind in southwest Wisconsin—produces three-dimensional views of breast tissue and helps doctors more accurately identify and classify breast tissue structures to better diagnose breast cancer and to save lives.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with one in eight U.S. women developing the disease during her lifetime and 40,000 women dying annually. Mammograms save countless women every year, thanks to early diagnosis and treatment. The advanced new technology at Southwest Health now gives every woman a better chance for early and accurate diagnosis.
In recent years, the gold standard in breast cancer screening had been digital 2D mammography. The new 3D technology produces clearer images, especially with dense breast tissue. 3D technology is especially valuable for women receiving a baseline screening, those who have dense breast tissue, and women with a family history of breast cancer.
In the June 25, 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a groundbreaking study reported that advanced 3D mammography technology significantly increased cancer detection while simultaneously reducing the number of false positives. The study reviewed nearly a half million mammography exams, and researchers found 3D exams found more invasive and lethal cancers than traditional mammograms. The study’s findings also included fewer women being called back for further unnecessary screenings due to false alarms.
“We believe this is technology that not only finds cancer better but also offers women peace of mind and reduces health care costs in the long run,” said Southwest Health’s Director of Radiology JoAnn Geissbuhler. “Being called back for further exams because images are either inconclusive or unclear creates unhealthy anxiety in patients. Callbacks also increase exams and increase health care costs. Our new 3D technology is proven to significantly improve care on all those fronts, and that’s a big win for the women of southwest Wisconsin.”
The breast cancer detection technology was made possible by donors to the Southwest Health Foundation as well as by the Southwest Health Board of Directors, which has made significant investments in advanced medical imaging technology in recent years. In addition to the 3D mammography, those technology investments includes the area’s only wide bore fixed MRI machine and advanced low radiation, high definition CT scanning.