Published on March 16, 2017

3-D mammography: A better view for finding breast cancer

Mammograms save lives.

mammo tech and patientThey do that by finding cancerous breast tumors when they’re still too tiny for a woman or her doctor to feel. And they can give women a potentially lifesaving head start on treatment.

But mammograms aren’t perfect. They don’t find all breast cancers. That’s why Nazareth Hospital is now offering women an advanced form of mammography not yet available at all hospitals: 3-D mammography.

“It helps doctors catch more cancers at an earlier stage,” says Karen Kish, MD, a Nazareth Hospital breast surgeon.

Better images, fewer callbacks

As a woman, you won’t notice much difference between 3-D mammograms and standard 2-D ones—they feel the same.

The difference is that standard mammography only takes images of the breasts from two angles. In contrast, 3-D mammography produces multiple three-dimensional images, taken from several angles. Doctors are able to see separate slices of breast tissue and spot small tumors that otherwise might be hidden, says Lynne Taus, MD, a radiologist at Nazareth Hospital.

Still another plus: Better imaging cuts down on the number of women called back for more tests because of a suspicious finding. Although additional testing usually reveals everything is OK, the experience makes many women understandably anxious.

Given its many benefits, 3-D mammography is a good choice for any woman. But it’s especially beneficial for women with dense breasts, Dr. Taus says. Dense breasts make it harder to detect cancer in mammograms, and 3-D mammograms increase their accuracy.

Our expanded breast care program

3-D mammography is just part of Nazareth’s recent expansion of its breast care program.

That expansion includes Dr. Kish’s arrival last fall. And it means the Cancer Center now boasts an on-site—and highly skilled—breast surgeon.

These stepped-up services also include new responsibilities for Nazareth’s oncology nurse navigator, Terrie Cannon, BSN, RN, OCN.

Terrie now assists any woman with abnormal mammogram results—answering questions, easing fears and coordinating care. Previously, she only assisted women with an actual diagnosis.

“But now I’m available at the first hint of something suspicious,” Terrie says.
As all of these changes show, we are committed to providing nearby—and comprehensive—high-quality breast care.

We are committed to providing nearby, and comprehensive, high-quality breast care.