3-D mammography comes to Hackettstown Medical Center
A regular mammogram is an essential tool in the battle against breast cancer. By examining images of breast tissue, doctors can find evidence of any cancer growth and act before it spreads. With new technology at Hackettstown Medical Center, doctors can spot tumor growth sooner than ever before. It’s called 3-D mammography, or digital breast tomosynthesis.
While conventional 2-D mammography combines four separate images, 3-D mammography layers hundreds of images together to give doctors a much more detailed picture of what is happening in the breasts. 3-D mammography “enables radiologists to identify smaller lesions, much earlier” than with conventional mammography, says Donia Lombardo, radiology manager for Hackettstown Medical Center. It also reduces “false positives” – warnings about possible tumor growth that turn out to be benign.
A 2014 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 3-D mammography identifies more dangerous, invasive tumors than 2-D mammography, and results in doctors calling back fewer women for invasive follow-up testing for false positive results.
The 3-D mammography capability at Hackettstown Medical Center became available in September 2017. “Patients will not notice any change in the length of the test or how the mammogram procedure is performed; the difference is in the three-dimensional technology and the images produced,” Lombardo says. Women can opt to return back to conventional 2-D mammography if they choose as well.
Women’s Imaging Services at Hackettstown offers evening appointments and Saturday appointments, to help women fit this important screening into their busy schedules, Lombardo says. “3-D breast tomosynthesis is the gold standard of mammography across Atlantic Health System, and Hackettstown Medical Center is very excited to now offer this technology to our patients.”