Highland News Leader

3D mammography now offered at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland

Lisa Kustermann, a mammogram tech at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, shows a patient the newest 3D mammography service starting in early March at the hospital.
Lisa Kustermann, a mammogram tech at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, shows a patient the newest 3D mammography service starting in early March at the hospital. Courtesy photo

HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital recently invested more than $350,000 to expand the current mammography services with advanced 3D mammography. The advanced mammogram equipment was installed in January and will begin service in early March.

This new, state-of-the-art technology allows St. Joseph’s Hospital to offer 3D mammograms, as a complement to the current 2D services, for patients meeting certain criteria, including those who have a strong family history of breast cancer, and patients with dense breast tissue.

“The impact this technology will have on our patients is tremendous,” said Elizabeth Govero, interim president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Highland. “The 3D image details offer a clearer overall view of the breast tissue. It helps us detect cancer earlier, see lesions more clearly, and reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies.”

The new technology at St. Joseph’s Hospital was paid for through a capital campaign that raised the full cost of the machine. The HSHS St. Joseph’s Foundation launched the campaign in late October and had raised the full amount by mid-December. The success of the campaign was due in large part to an estate gift that was left to the hospital by Ruth E. Schroeder, a former patient at the hospital, in memory of her and her husband, William F. Schroeder. The Schroeder gift covered more than half of the cost of the 3D mammography machine.

“Being able to raise the money for this new technology in such a short period of time really emphasizes people’s commitment to the hospital and the health and wellness of our community,” said Amy Liefer, director of HSHS St. Joseph’s Foundation.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 3D mammography to be used with standard mammography in 2011, but not all insurance providers cover the procedure. Patients considering 3D mammography should check with their insurance provider to see if your personal, family, or medical history qualifies you for the exam. Patients whose insurance does not cover the procedure should be prepared to pay an out of pocket fee.

To schedule an annual screening mammogram, call St. Joseph’s Imaging Department at 651-2790. A physician referral is not required.

For more information about mammography services at St. Joseph’s, visit www.stjosephshighland.org.

What 3D mammograms can do

On average, 3D mammograms:

▪ have the ability to detect 40 percent more cancers than 2D mammograms;

▪ offer 29 percent improvement in overall cancer detection rates;

▪ reduce false positives up to 40 percent;

▪ allow the radiologist to see masses and distortions associated with cancers significantly more clearly than conventional 2D;

▪ reduce the need for additional imaging in order to better visualize tissue up to 40 percent, compared to 2D mammography;

▪ take less time, with a rapid scan time of under four seconds total, which helps to improve patient comfort and lessens the risk of motion.

Source: Hologic Selenia Dimensions