Technology Improves Detection and Reduces False Positives
A new 3D mammography method recently implemented at ThedaCare captures images of multiple slices of a woman’s breast, all at different angles. The images are put together to create a clear and complete image, enabling the radiologist to review the assembly of images one thin slice at a time, almost like turning pages in a book. This method makes it easier for doctors to see if there are any areas of concern and helps avoid false positives.
ThedaCare recently installed the new 3D mammography machines at the Breast Center inside Encircle Health in Appleton and at the Breast Center at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center -Neenah. Providers may begin ordering 3D mammograms in February on behalf of their patients. The new screening and diagnostic tool is approved for all women who have a standard mammogram.
“3D mammography complements standard 2D mammography,” said Vikki Conradt, RTR, manager of diagnostic imaging at ThedaCare. “We take the pictures at the same time as a woman’s regular mammogram and on the same system and equipment. The radiation dose for a 3D mammogram is well within the FDA safety standards for mammography.”
Conradt said studies show both a 40 percent reduction in follow-up imaging and a 40 percent improved cancer detection rate with 3D mammography compared with traditional 2D mammography.
A woman can choose to add 3D imaging to her regular mammogram appointment based on her personal experience or the recommendation of her doctor. “It is particularly helpful to women with a personal or family history of breast cancer or other cancers,” said Conradt. “Or if she knows, or has been told, that she has dense breast tissue, the 3D method will help her.” Nearly 40 percent of women have dense breast tissue, and it is one of the biggest reasons that mammograms fail to detect existing breast cancer.
For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves more than 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,800 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose and 35 clinics in 14 counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke, and cardiac programs and a foundation dedicated to community service. Construction of ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in Appleton is underway. For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.