3D Mammograms at Cooley Dickinson
3D mammograms offer more detail and earlier cancer detection. And 3D mammograms are now offered at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
Mammography is the best way to find breast cancer in its earliest stages, when a cure is most likely, the prognosis is better, and the treatment choices are greater. 3D mammography, also known as Breast Tomosynthesis, was pioneered at Massachusetts General Hospital and is the latest advancement in breast cancer detection in more than 30 years.
Is it time for your mammogram? Get a 3D mammogram exam. To schedule an appointment, call 582-2101 (Northampton) or 253-8062 (Amherst).
3D Mammo Q&A
Q. What is 3D mammography?
3D mammography captures multiple slices of the breast in 2 different views. This more advanced diagnostic tool for early breast cancer detection is done in conjunction with a traditional 2D digital mammogram.
During the 3D part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the patient’s breast, taking multiple images of the breast from multiple angles. These images create sequential slices through the entire breast. At this time, 3D mammography is performed along with standard, 2D imaging on the same scanner. The additional 3D images make it possible for the radiologist to gain a better view and understanding of the patient’s breast tissue.
Q. What are the benefits of 3D mammography for patients?
Earlier, smaller, and more sensitive cancer diagnosis, fewer call backs, and greater peace of mind. This technology is the best for the patient. Mammography remains the best tool for early screening detection of breast cancer.
Studies indicate there is a 10 percent or greater improvement in diagnosis of breast cancer with Breast Tomosynthesis. In addition, 40 percent fewer women will need to return for a callback mammogram because the 3D imaging allows radiologists to more effectively analyze the breast tissue to exclude or confirm any abnormalities.
Q. Explain 2D mammography.
With conventional 2D digital mammography, the radiologist views all of the breast tissue in one flat image. Since the breast is composed of pockets of dense tissue surrounded by fat, when X-rayed, it creates a composite image that can be difficult to analyze. The overlapping tissue in the image makes it difficult to see masses or be sure if a potential mass is real or a fake summation shadow, as well as other potentially subtle signs of early cancer.
As part of the 3D mammography implementation at Cooley Dickinson, the radiologists have developed protocols to ensure each patient will receive a more precise and detailed mammogram. If cancers are diagnosed and treated earlier, they are less likely to harm or kill. If doctors find and treat cancer in its earliest stage, the chances of survival are improved. 3D mammography is particularly helpful in finding invasive cancers; these are the kind that can spread and kill.
Contributor Dr. Lou Pacilio, is the lead radiologist for mammography, at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
About Cooley Dickinson's Mammography Program
Cooley Dickinson Hospital's Mammography program is certified as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. Area residents have access to breast tomosynthesis/3D mammography at Cooley Dickinson Hospital and at the Amherst Outpatient Center.
The American Cancer Society recommends that all women have a baseline screening mammogram beginning at age 40. They also recommend that in addition to annual screening for women ages 40 and older, women with certain risk factors should discuss an appropriate screening program with their doctor.
Breast cancer risk factors may include family or personal history of breast cancer; early menstrual onset/late onset of menopause; use of oral contraceptives; use of hormone replacement therapy and alcohol use (two or more drinks per day). For more information about prevention and early detection visit www.cancer.org.
Cooley Dickinson’s board certified radiologists interpret studies at both the Hospital and University Drive locations. Cooley Dickinson Hospital possesses a valid license and certificate of inspection from the Department of Public Health.
To schedule an appointment in Amherst, 170 University Drive, call (413) 253-8062. To schedule your mammogram in Northampton, 30 Locust Street, on the Cooley Dickinson Hospital campus, call (413) 582-2101.