Monday, February 2, 2015

Fauquier Health Now Offers Low-Dose 3D Mammography

Fauquier Hospital is the only facility in the region to have the lowest dose technology available for 3D mammography.

New 3D mammography (also known as breast tomosynthesis) is an advanced, clinically proven screening and diagnostic tool for early breast cancer detection.

Karla Kenefake-Hymans, director of Fauquier Health's Medical Imaging Department, said, "During the 3D mammography exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in an arc over the breast, taking multiple low dose images. A computer produces a 3D image of the breast tissue in one-millimeter slices, providing greater visibility for your radiologist to see breast detail in a way never before possible.

"With conventional digital mammography," Kenefake-Hymans added, "the radiologist is viewing all the complexities of the breast tissue in one flat image. Sometimes breast tissue can overlap, making normal breast tissue look like an abnormal area, or potentially hiding a small cancer. By looking at the breast tissue in slices, the radiologist can provide a more accurate exam." Research studies show that 3D mammography reduces callbacks for additional imaging by up to 16% and increases cancer detection by up to 40%.

A screening mammogram is an annual mammogram that is done when there are no signs or symptoms of a problem. A diagnostic mammogram is used to evaluate a specific symptom of possible disease, such as a lump, or to further evaluate a specific area of the breast as follow-up to a screening mammogram. 3D mammography complements standard 2D mammography and is performed at the same time, with the same system.

Low radiation exposure

Fauquier Hospital is the only facility in the region to have the lowest dose technology available for 3D mammography.  This allows for both the 3D and 2D images to be taken with the same radiation dose as 2D images alone.  It also means that the length of time a woman is in compression is the same as only a 2D examination; some 3D systems require double the compression time.

3D mammography can benefit all women who undergo a standard mammogram, either a screening or a diagnostic examination. However, it may be even more beneficial for a woman’s first baseline mammogram; for women 40-60 years old; women with a significant amount of dense breast tissue, and women with a personal history or a close family history of breast cancer.

Call 540-316-5800 to schedule your annual 3D screening mammogram appointment at Fauquier Hospital. You must have a doctor’s order to schedule the exam.

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