FREMONT – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in recognition of the national campaign, Fremont Health Medical Center invited KHUB and KFMT to visit their Imaging Center and discuss their new 3D Mammography technology.
3D Mammography technology is new to Fremont Health Medical Center this year. The technology was installed in July, but due to the process of becoming accredited and meeting certain requirements and standards, they didn’t start using the technology until September. According to Stacey Ernesti, the Director of Imaging, there are similarities between 2D and 3D Mammography, but 3D can provide more information and detect signs of breast cancer much earlier.
“It produces a lot more detail or high quality information for the radiologist during that exam. It’s finding 41% of invasive breast cancers, and is detecting breast cancers roughly 15 months earlier than our regular 2D,” said Ernesti. “It helps eliminate some overlapping tissue that a lot of times a 2D image mammogram may produce.”
Ernesti says eliminating the overlapping tissue caused by the 2D images can help to reduce the amount of callbacks for patients to come in for additional testing. She adds the recommended age for women to start getting screened for breast cancer is 40.
“The recommended age to start screening is at the age of 40, and I strongly recommend the age of 40. And then having mammograms done annually,” said Ernesti. “A lot can happen when you delay that patient from coming back. I know there are some discrepancies with different programs, but the American College of Radiology does recommend an annual mammogram after the age of 40.”
She adds it’s important to get an annual mammogram after the age of 40, and that early detection is critical.
“Any delay in regards to catching something early and being able to plan that patient’s treatment plans forward are very important. And when you detect it, sometimes that breast cancer has been growing over a period of time,” said Ernesti. “So it may have been growing for roughly eight to ten years. So when we catch it, and we can catch it early, I think that’s the important key.”
She claims that no woman is ever too old for a mammogram, and the chances for breast cancer do increase with age.
“I think the most important thing is you’re never too old to have a mammogram. Many times people think they’re too old to have a mammogram, but your chances do increase with age,” said Ernesti. “It’s important that you do come in annually and continue those screenings until it’s a point when you and your physician decide that you wouldn’t carry out any treatment if we did find something.”
For more information on Fremont Health Medical Center’s new 3D Mammography technology you can visit www.fremonthealth.com, or call (402) 727-3731.