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New 3D Mammograms

October 17, 2012, 6:08 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

New 3D Mammograms

A new, more detailed way to detect breast cancer is now available in Sioux Falls.

Janet French is not new to mammograms, but after her experience in 2004, she's thankful for the new 3D mammogram technology.

"I had a mammogram, and everything was fine. Then a month later I found a lump," French said.

Eight years ago French's doctor did not find her breast cancer in a mammogram, but the technology has improved, including this latest 3D version.

"We certainly have found masses that we didn't see before and wouldn't have seen with just 2D," Sanford Diagnostic Radiologist Dr. Thomas Cink said.

Cink has been using the new technology for about a week. It produces a 3D image of breast tissue in one millimeter layers, allowing doctors to see tissue in more detail.

"It's only been approved by the FDA for a little bit over a year," Cink said.

Cink says not only will it find breast cancer more easily, but it will also confirm more accurately if someone does not have cancer.

"We don't have as many callbacks. In one study, there were 40 percent fewer callbacks," Cink said.

While the new 3D technology does have a lot of advantages, it does have one disadvantage, a higher level of radiation.

"We're still lower than any recommendations," Cink said. "And this is about the same as where we were three years ago when we were using analog anyway," Cink said.

French is not worried about the radiation level. She hopes the new technology allows doctors to find breast cancer earlier and therefore save lives.

"I will do it again next year to not have the questionable result and be worried," French said.

Right now the 3D mammogram costs the same as the 2D at Sanford.

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