3-D Mammography Comes to Grady General

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Patients at Archbold Memorial Hospital’s Grady General Hospital now have access to new medical technology that they previously had to travel to benefit from.

Hologic Dimension’s 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ made its debut at Grady General in June, helping to improve the ability of doctors to accurately diagnose breast cancer in its earliest stages, when it is most effectively treated.

“This technology is something that will benefit our community greatly,” said GGH radiologist Thomas Fearneyhough, MD.

According to statistics from the American Cancer Society, in the U.S., breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer. It can occur in both men and women, but it is very rare in men. Each year there are about 2,550 new cases of breast cancer in men and about 266,000 new cases in women.

But early detection of breast cancer with mammography can allow treatment for the disease to begin earlier, and ideally before cancer has spread.

The National Cancer Institute reports that results from randomized clinical trials and other studies show screening mammography can help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer among women ages 40 to 74, especially for those over age 50.

Three-dimensional (3D) mammography, also known as breast tomosynthesis, is a type of digital mammography in which X-ray machines are used to take pictures of thin slices of the breast from different angles. Computer software is then used to reconstruct the image for a better view of the breast.

“The 3D technology gives us an enhanced view, from multiple angles, which helps us to see abnormalities much clearer than we could before,” said GGH radiologist Kelley Helquist, MD.

Dr. Fearneyhough said physicians follow the recommendation from the American College of Radiology as it relates to screening mammography.

“We recommend that women receive a mammogram annually after age 40, unless there is a family history of breast cancer that would suggest the need for earlier testing,” said Dr. Fearneyhough. “It’s really best to talk with your primary care physician or gynecologist to develop an individual screening plan tailored to your needs.”

While patients won’t notice a big change in the way their mammograms are performed, every patient seeking a mammogram at Grady General will have their test conducted with the 3-D technology.

“The high resolution images produced by the 3-D technology allow us to detect tumors that would have previously been difficult to find,” said Dr. Fearneyhough. “The technology gives us an enhanced view, and in many cases reduces the number of scary false positive results.”

“We’re excited to offer this new technology to our patients,” said Dr. Helquist. “It’s convenient and beneficial for Grady County residents to have access to this technology in their hometown.”


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