In a January 2018 article published in the Nebraska World-Herald, health care providers in Nebraska are joining the nationwide switch to 3-D mammograms. In fact, Methodist will also launch the area’s first 3-D mobile mammography unit this spring in partnership with Susan G. Komen® Great Plains, the Harper Family Foundation and others to help more women get screened.
The switch to 3-D mammography has happened primarily because it’s been shown to improve cancer detection and result in fewer false positive results, reducing “callbacks” for additional screenings by 15 percent to 40 percent, depending on the study. Standard mammograms take X-rays from two sides of the breast. In 3-D mammography, X-ray machines take pictures of thin slices of the breast from different angles, and computer software reconstructs an image in a process similar to a CT scan.
3-D mammography also does a better job on the 40 percent of women who have dense breasts. Nebraska and Iowa last year joined what now stands at 31 states that require physicians to notify women that they have dense tissue. A bill also has been introduced at the federal level.
According to Karen Daneu, CEO of Komen Great Plains, the biggest challenge is to make sure women are getting screened. “Two-D, 3-D,” Daneu said, “they’re all better than zero D.”