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MVH's HealthPLEX Imaging Offers the Most Advanced Tool for Detecting Breast Cancer

MVH's HealthPLEX Imaging Offers the Most Advanced Tool for Detecting Breast Cancer photo

Shown with the new 3-D mammography unit are (left to right) Jeannette Petruska, mammography supervisor, and Mary Ann Konsugar, HealthPLEX Imaging manager.
(December 17, 2014 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

No one wants to see breast cancer show up on a routine mammogram, but experts agree that it is better see abnormalities in their early stages when the chance for survival is much better. Monongahela Valley Hospital's HealthPLEX Imaging now offers 3-D mammograms that are more effective in detecting invasive cancer at its early stages than traditional two-dimensional mammograms.

The 3-D mammogram, which is also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, is a new technology that captures a series of consecutive images from different angles across the arc of the breast to produce three-dimensional slice images. The slices enable radiologists to examine breast tissue one layer at a time instead of viewing all of the layers together as a flat image. An abnormality that is hidden behind tissue in one image may be visible in another image at a slightly different angle.

"The 3-D mammogram is an effective screening tool for all women and for those with dense breast tissue," said Adil Chaudry, M.D., director of Mammography at Monongahela Valley Hospital. "Studies show that 3-D mammograms improve the ability to detect breast cancer. The images show the inner structure of the breast one slice at a time without the overlapping tissues which can hide small, and at times, large masses."

There are other benefits of 3-D tomosynthesis. Radiologists can target the size, shape and precise location of a suspicious image. In addition, women experience fewer callbacks for additional images which in turn reduces anxiety. Since the tissue layers are shown independently, suspicious lesions that may cause concern on traditional 2-D mammograms can be ruled out as benign or non-cancerous. Additional benefits include fewer unnecessary biopsies and additional tests, and a greater likelihood of detecting multiple breast tumors.

Women who have had traditional 2-D mammograms will find the experience very similar with tomosynthesis because the same positions and compressions are needed. However, with 3-D, while the breast is compressed in the unit, the machine's special x-ray arm moves over the breast in a sweeping motion to capture the 3-D images.

"Overall, 3-D mammograms offer more - more detail for the radiologist and more peace of mind among women," added Dr. Chaudry.

HealthPLEX Imaging is now scheduling 3-D mammograms for early January. For more information, call 724-379-1900.

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