In Honor of October's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Memorial Reduces Screening Exam Price
Memorial Healthcare System has strengthened its nationally accredited breast cancer program and dedication to breast cancer awareness by offering tomosynthesis – a revolutionary 3-dimesional breast cancer detection technology system – at all four Women’s Imaging Centers at Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital South, Memorial Hospital West and Memorial Hospital Miramar. As part of its National Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign that runs throughout October, Memorial Healthcare System will be promoting the expanded availability of the Federal Drug Administration-approved technology by offering screening tomosynthesis (3-D mammography) at $50.
“Tomosynthesis has proven to be a game-changer in cancer detection,” says Rakesh Parbhu, MD, breast radiation, Memorial Healthcare System. “Since 2009 when we began offering it on a clinical trial basis, tomosynthesis has enabled us to detect more cancers and smaller cancers that may have gone unnoticed by conventional 2-D imaging. Memorial Healthcare System is proud to offer expanded availability of this cutting-edge technology, which we recommend annually for all women age 40 and older.”
Unlike 2-D mammography that produces flat breast images, tomosynthesis enables radiologists to exam breasts intricately – layer by layer. As a result, detection of breast cancer in earlier stages has increased by as much as 15 percent. Tomosynthesis also reduces the call back rate for suspicious routine mammograms by as much as 30 percent, since it eliminates overlapping images that can generate false abnormalities or “false positives” in 2-D mammography of dense or fatty breasts.
New Combination 3-D Mammography and Biopsy Capability Offered at Memorial Hospital South
Dr. Parbhu notes that Memorial Hospital South now offers the added competency of 3-D biopsy capability in combination with 3-D mammography.
“Now, abnormalities that appear in tomosynthesis can be biopsied using corresponding 3-D technology that enables us to quickly detect smaller cancers that are more responsive to treatment and require less surgery,” he says. “In addition, the combination 3-D mammography and biopsy capability reduces patient cost, discomfort and anxiety associated with biopsies using Magnetic Resonance Imaging.”
Tomosynthesis patients at Memorial Healthcare System’s Women’s Imaging Centers currently undergo 2-D mammography as well for breast health screening and diagnosis. “Because there is still some information that can only be obtained from 2-D mammography, we need to do both types of imaging for the time being,” Dr. Parbhu says. “However, the combined radiation dose is safe since it is still less than the maximum threshold mandated by the FDA.”
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