There are hundreds of cases of breast cancer each year at Rockford Health System. The Women's Center hopes to lower that number by giving doctors a closer look into the signs of the disease using a new 3D technology to help doctors and patients.
It's known as Tomosynthesis, and right now, Rockford Health System is the first in the region to offer it. Providing 3D images for doctors and women, to lessen the chance of a missed cancer.
"We think that women will really respond to this, particularly women who have had a past history with breast cancer, have a lump, or have other issues that would make this perfect solution for imaging them," says Helen Brooks, Vice President of Community and Regional Development at Rockford Health System.
3D mammography is the newest advancement in breast health. Already in larger city hospitals around the country, now, it's in Rockford. Creating the contrast between 3D and the regular mammogram, the sharpness of the image.
"Kind of like going to a 3D movie and putting on your 3D glasses and having the monster pop out at you on the screen," Dr. Blume, a Rockford Health System Radiologist and Mammographer says. "Somewhat similar to that, when we look at Tomosynthesis versus a standard mammogram, the cancer tends to pop out at you."
With the images separating into slice-like pieces, it's easier to detect a suspicious lump. Dr. Blume says the test should limit the number of follow-up appointments that usually come with normal mammograms.
"There's a lot of unknown when we look at mammograms," says Dr. Blume. "We do a lot of calling women back unnecessarily for normal breast tissue that might look like a cancer and normal structures that might obscure a cancer that we might miss."
Screenings with the new machine are set to start Monday. For now 3D mammograms at the Women's Center are limited to women with a history of cancer, or those that need more aggressive treatment.
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