HealthWatch: 3D Breast Imaging

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More than 50-percent of breast cancer cases are discovered by a mammogram. Which is why it is very important for women to get their annual screening.

However, sometimes women are fearful of getting a mammogram because it can be an uncomfortable experience and they put it off.

Aurora BayCare Medical Center offers Wisconsin’s first and only audio-visual 3-dimensional mammography area. 
    
The new breast imaging space is designed to give patients a more calming experience and help save lives.

“It was really a great experience it was calm it was just quiet” 

Susan Diraimondo is describing her experience getting a mammogram at aurora baycare medical center’s comprehensive breast care center. Their new breast imaging area is designed to relax and calm patients with comforting images and audio technology and a coffee bar.

“Most patients are more relaxed and that leads to a better mammogram if the patient is rigid its harder to get a good picture,” explained William Owens, MD, Comprehensive Breast Care Center, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.  

Susan agrees “I didn’t feel that high level of anxiety that i actually thought id be expecting to feel.”

A year ago Susan found a lump in her breast and went to see her doctor, “She sent me for a mammogram and an ultrasound and then referred me to Dr. Owens.”

Susan had stage one breast cancer, “Susan was diagnosed with what is called an invasive ductal cancer of her breast,” explained Dr. Owens.

Susan received chemotherapy and had her tumor removed, “We were able to get all the way around her tumor with our lumpectomy so then she went on to the next step of radiation therapy,” explained Dr. Owens.

Dr. William Owens says the actual imaging is more comfortable, “The machine has softer corners and is designed to provide the patient with less discomfort during the exam,” explained Dr. Owens.

And it offers 3-dimensional mammography instead of the traditional 2-dimensional, “We are able to see breast cancers we have previously missed, especially if its lost in the dense breast tissue. Radiologists are more confident when they read their mammograms,” said Dr. Owens.

And that put Susan at ease, “I felt really reassured that 3D mammogram is going to find something if it were there”  

Dr. Owens hopes their new breast imaging center will help alleviate some women’s apprehension of getting a mammogram, “We think it will lead to more women being agreeable to get more mammograms if its not as unpleasant of a situation and that provides us  even more chance to catch more cancers early.”

And Susan’s mammogram results… “There are no signs of breast cancer,” Susan said happily.

The American Cancer Society guidelines recommends that women with average risk  should start having mammograms at age 45- earlier if there is a family history.
    
To learn more you can call AuroraBayCare at 866-938-0035 or email healthwatch@aurorabaycare.com

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