3-D mammography available through Self Regional Healthcare

Self Regional Healthcare’s new 3D Mammography machine, now available to the Lakelands community.

When it comes to your health and taking preventative steps to be the healthiest you can be, Lakelands residents are fortunate that Self Regional Healthcare offers the most advanced, reputable technology and the best overall experience, right here close to home.

Self Regional Healthcare is now home to 3D tomosynthesis mammography. Combining multiple breast X-rays to create a three-dimensional picture of the breast, these images help doctors see a clearer view of breast masses, making it easier to detect breast cancer.

With the advancement of technology, Self Regional providers are now able to view breast tissue in thin, 1 millimeter slices, allowing the radiologist to see the different structures better, as well as the location, size and shape of any abnormal tissue. Before, with traditional 2D mammography, two images of each breast were taken from two angles — top to bottom and side to side — so that the radiologist could see all of the breast tissue in one image. Traditional 2D mammography, in conjunction with 3D tomosynthesis, can create a complete picture of the breast, allowing radiologists to see the clearest images and be able to offer their patients the best possible course of action. 3D mammography is proven to decrease the number of false positives by up to 40%, while detecting more invasive cancers.

While breast cancer can be diagnosed in women of all race, ethnicity, age, size and other factors, it is recommended for women age 40 and older to get an annual mammogram screening. Everyone who is a candidate for traditional 2D mammography is also a candidate for 3D mammography. Women that have dense breast tissue may benefit most from 3D mammography, because it provides a clearer picture and detects 41% more invasive breast cancers.

3D mammography has numerous benefits and is some of the most advanced and progressive technology on the market today. It has also proven to remain within a healthy limit of X-ray exposure to the patient. This advanced testing may be covered by your insurance company, but it’s best to contact your health insurance carrier directly to find out if this service is covered by your plan.

Erin Smith, Breast Health Navigator at Self Regional said, “Fear of the unknown deters many women from breast imaging. Yearly screenings are crucial for early detection.” Our goal at Self Regional is to inform you of the benefits and what to expect during your visit. Here’s what you can expect:

o Upon arrival at the Imaging Center, you will complete a check-in and registration progress. We encourage patients to pre-register to save time at their appointment.

o Once registration is complete, you will be escorted to a private dressing room and given a gown to allow for an efficient imaging process. Clothes and jewelry are removed from the waist up.

o The mammography technician will guide you into a private suite and give clear directions on the position to stand. One breast is placed on the imaging platform and is slowly compressed to the proper level of compression. This is done to spread the breast tissue for better visibility. Some find this process uncomfortable, which is normal, but the discomfort is short-lived.

o The same process happens for the opposite breast. Once the technician verifies quality, clear images, the patient is directed back to her private dressing room.

o The patient redresses and returns to her regular scheduled activities for the day.

o The images are read and interpreted by a radiologist. If any abnormality is found, the patient is called back for further imaging studies. If the screening mammogram is negative, or without abnormalities, the patient is encouraged to return the following year for the next screening.

The Self Regional Healthcare Breast Center is committed to providing a dedicated team of providers and support staff with a vast knowledge and experience in breast health. For more information on 3D mammography, visit selfregional.org/3Dmammo.