Radiology group to soon add 3-D mammography

Tomosynthesis allows doctors to see through layers of tissue and examine all angles

Putnam County residents won’t have to travel far for the latest breast cancer screening technology.

Debra Main, Doctors Imaging Group marketing and business development coordinator, said Putnam Radiology Group is only “days away” from offering 3-D mammograms in Palatka. 

“Mammograms have always been a 2-D image of a 3-D object,” said Dr. Adam Means, radiologist. “This is really the future of mammographic screening.”  

Tomosynthesis — 3-D mammography — allows doctors to see through layers of tissue and examine areas of concern from all angles. 

When looking at an image from a 2-D mammogram, Means said, a mass could be identified by an experienced doctor, but its appearance is similar to the dense breast tissue surrounding it. 

The 3-D mammogram allowed Means to show a layer of tissue individually, which removed the visible breast tissue surrounding the mass and revealed three smaller, additional masses that were not visible with the 2-D mammogram image. 

“We’re finding more cancers and finding cancers earlier,” Means said. 

Seeing images of individual layers of tissue also allows doctors to eliminate a lot of “false positives,” Means said. 

“Getting the call to come back for more images or an ultrasound can cause anxiety, and patients are spending more time, more money to come back,” Means said. “This is as good as it gets. … For now.”

Means said the technology was added to Putnam Radiology Group’s mammogram machine and will be used once the site gets the Food and Drug Administration’s stamp of approval, expected in the coming weeks.

Experts suggest women should have annual mammograms beginning at age 40, and women with a higher risk for breast cancer should begin screenings at age 35. 

“Unfortunately, breast cancer is prevalent in women,” Means said. “We’re happy to bring the latest technology to Putnam County.”

Palatka Daily News

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