"We are so excited to be on the cutting edge of technology and finding cancers sooner," Beth Dawson, Mammography Supervisor said.
The Buena Vista Regional Medical Center started using a 3D mammography machine... not only making the imaging easier to look at, but also making it easier to find signs of breast cancer... and much sooner than with a traditional mammogram image.
"I don't have the superimposition of tissue anymore, so I can now separate this all out and look at each layer itself, so these little cancers they really, once you find them, they stand out like a lightbulb," Ingrid Franze, Director of Diagnostic Imaging said.
The image is sliced into fifteen parts, allowing doctors to take a closer look at areas of dense tissue where cancer lesions can easily hide.
"I've just been doing this for 30 years. So to go from where we've been to where we are now and to be able to offer women this... it's just the greatest," Dawson said.
Overall, this state-of-the-art technology makes finding cancer so much easier on the eyes of the radiologists who use it. But they still stress that it's impossible to find the cancer in the first place if you don't come in for your yearly exam.
"If women don't get their mammograms, all this doesn't matter. Because if they choose to not have a mammogram, we're not going to find the breast cancers until they feel them themselves," Franze said.
The new imaging system also decreases the number of women called back in for a second exam or a biopsy, relieving a lot of stress on the part of the patient.
"If you are a woman of perimenopausal or later age, and you get a call back, and it says 'we need to look at your breast a little better,' that increases your stress level to the max," Franze said.
Armed with this technology, doctors at Buena Vista Regional Medical center are glad to help relieve some of that stress.
The machine is one of the first of its kind in the Siouxland area, and has already served more than 130 patients in the Storm Lake area.
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