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3D Mammography Now Available at Curry Health Network

Superior Technology and Routine Screenings Save Lives

Curry Health Network is thrilled to announce that the first exam using 3D mammography was scheduled December 21 at Curry Medical Center in Brookings. Combined with superior imaging technology, routine mammograms are the best defense against breast cancer because regular screenings make it easier to detect cancer in its early stages.

A 3D mammogram, also known as breast tomosynthesis, or "tomo", creates a three-dimensional image of the breast and shows the tissue in thin, one-millimeter layers, allowing a better chance to detect cancer hiding behind overlapping tissue.

CHN Director of Diagnostic Imaging, Corinna Silvius, explained further, "The goal of mammography is to find breast cancer as early in its development as possible. Studies have shown that 3D mammography can increase detection by up to 40%, and that 73.7% of breast cancers found with 3D mammography were 1 cm or smaller."

Dr. Jessica Carlson, CHN's general surgeon, breast cancer survivor, and outspoken advocate for screening mammograms, knows well the value of the high quality, detailed images produced by tomo. "I believe my particular cancer may have been missed if I didn't travel to receive a 3D mammogram. It is powerful technology that can often detect cancers at earlier stages and pick up abnormalities that might be missed on other mammograms. I'm pleased that our patients can now benefit from 3D mammography without the need to travel long distances."

There are other benefits, according to Silvius. "Tomo is found to be reliable and accurate. Because 3D mammo can separate overlapping tissue, there is up to a 40% decrease in the number of patients requiring follow-up or biopsies with results that are ultimately found to be negative," Silvius continued. "Not only does the much lower rate of screening recalls save patients time and money, but it also saves them unnecessary anxiety," she said. "So, too, earlier diagnosis can help avoid more aggressive treatments often needed later in the disease progression."

Ginny Williams, CHN CEO, agreed. "The benefits of 3D mammography simply cannot be ignored, and we're excited to be able to offer the service locally. We would also be remiss if we didn't acknowledge the community's support of this technology through the efforts of the Curry Health Foundation and player participation in the 2021 Golf Fore Health Tournament that raised more than $20,000 to help with purchase. We're very grateful."

According to The American Cancer Society, women should receive annual mammograms beginning at age 40, and women with a family history of breast cancer should talk to their primary care provider, who may recommend screening at an earlier age.

Patients with a primary care provider who wish to schedule a 3D screening mammogram can call 541.412.2098. Diagnostic mammograms or any mammogram for symptomatic patients require an order from a provider. Learn more here.