June 6, 2013
Carol Milgard Breast Center Now Offering 3D Mammography – First in Pierce County
TACOMA, Wash. – The Carol Milgard Breast Center is proud to offer tomosynthesis (commonly known as 3D mammography) to women throughout the region beginning June 10. The revolutionary screening and diagnostic breast imaging tool improves the early detection of breast cancer. Thanks to a $2.75 million grant from the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation, the breast center is the first in Pierce County to offer this technology. Six 3D units have been installed and approved by the FDA at the Carol Milgard Breast Center.
“We are ecstatic to be able to offer 3D mammography to our patients,” says Khai Tran, M.D., medical director of the breast center. “Our primary goal has always been to detect breast cancer as early as possible.” Women whose breast cancers are diagnosed at an early stage have over a 95% survival rate in the first five years.
Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011, 3D mammography is used in conjunction with conventional 2D digital mammography and will be available to all patients at the breast center beginning June 10. During the 3D portion of the exam, an x-ray arm sweeps over the breast, taking multiple images in seconds. A computer then produces a 3D image of the breast tissue in one millimeter layers. This allows breast center radiologists to scroll through images of the entire breast like pages of a book, examining breast tissue one layer at a time. Fine details are more visible and are less likely to be hidden by overlapping tissue.
The groundbreaking technology is proven to detect more cancers and is expected to save more lives. Combining 3D mammography with traditional 2D mammography has demonstrated a superior cancer detection rate – improved by as much as 10-30% over 2D imaging alone. 3D mammography has also been proven to reduce the number of call-backs for further imaging by as much as 30% because it allows the radiologist to see the breast tissue more clearly. This new technology can provide patients peace of mind due to greater clarity and accuracy, and may spare the anxiety, inconvenience and expense of coming back for additional exams and procedures.
No additional breast compression is required for a 3D mammogram. The exam looks and feels like traditional mammograms and just takes a few seconds longer.
Patients will receive the 3D portion of the exam at no additional cost. The breast center also provides financial assistance so all patients can access essential mammography services.
All women are at risk for breast cancer, regardless of symptoms or family history. Mammograms often can detect potential problems before they can be felt. Early detection greatly increases treatment options and the likelihood of successful recovery. Although 2D/3D combination exams have been proven to detect more cancers, the breast center continues to support the American Cancer Society’s guidelines which recommend that women 40 and older receive a routine screening mammogram every year.
“We are excited to be the first in Pierce County to provide 3D mammography and support our mission of providing cutting-edge breast health services to all women in our community,” says Jacquelyn Ostrom, executive director of the breast center.
Those who want to learn more about 3D mammography at the Carol Milgard Breast Center should visit www.carolmilgard3D.org. Those who want to schedule an appointment should call 253-759-2622.
The Carol Milgard Breast Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide sustainable breast health services to all women in our community in a caring environment that fosters confidence, comfort, peace and dignity for each individual. The breast center opened in 2009 and was named to honor the spirit of Carol Milgard, a long-time Tacoma resident, philanthropist and 30-year breast cancer survivor. It is jointly owned by Franciscan Health System and MultiCare Health System and managed by TRA Medical Imaging.
Located at 4525 South 19th Street in Tacoma, it is designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. All of the breast center’s radiologists are board-certified physicians and are specially trained in breast imaging. In 2012, the breast center provided more than $481,000 in compassionate care for patients who could not afford to pay for needed services.