Conemaugh Health System Adds 3D Mammography for Breast Imaging

March 15, 2016

The Conemaugh Health System is pleased to announce the addition of new state-of-the-art breast imaging technology called 3D breast tomosynthesis for better breast cancer detection.

“We are very excited to offer this technology to our patients,” says Dr. Michele Cacek, Director of Mammography at Conemaugh and Lead Interpreting Radiologist.  “Tomosynthesis helps us improve breast cancer detection, reduce false-positive findings and cut back the need for patient call backs.”

True Breast Tomosynthesis is 3D mammogram technology that is proven to detect breast cancer better than traditional 2D mammography alone. While standard 2D mammograms take an image of the top and bottom side of a patient’s breast, True Breast Tomosynthesis takes 25 images of the breast from many angles as the X-ray tube moves across the breast in a 50-degree arc.

The images are assembled into a 3D study so doctors can see the breast tissue in fine detail. The 3D image allows them to see clearly through breast tissue that may be overlapping, or through the tissue of women with dense breasts. They are better able to detect and diagnose small tumors and rule out abnormalities that may have looked suspicious in the patient’s 2D mammogram.

“Clinical data had demonstrated that the addition of digital breast tomosynthesis to a patient’s traditional 2D digital mammogram increases detection of breast tumors, said Dr. Stanley Golden, Vice Chairman of Radiology at Conemaugh.  “We chose the True Breast Tomosynthesis option because it gives us wide-angle image acquisition that helps our physicians see more than traditional 2D mammography alone.”

“Early detection is the key to surviving breast cancer,” adds Dr. Cacek. “When we find tumors earlier, we’re better able to create treatment plans that are more effective. We think this technology can help us save lives.”

By reducing the distortion created by tissue overlap or dense breast tissue in 2D mammograms, physicians are better able to target the size, shape and location of a tumor. Clinical data has demonstrated that the addition of Siemens’ digital breast tomosynthesis to a patient’s traditional 2D digital mammogram increases detection of breast tumors. “Increased diagnostic accuracy also means fewer diagnostic biopsy procedures and fewer anxiety-inducing recalls, which typically contributes to both improved patient outcomes and reduced cost,” adds Dr. Golden.

Conemaugh Memorial installed the 3D technology at Conemaugh Richland and Conemaugh Ebensburg. The facility’s team completed special training and certification on the True Breast Tomosynthesis technology prior to offering the service publicly.

For more information about 3D Mammography at Conemaugh, call 814-534-4444.

About Conemaugh Health System

Conemaugh Health System, a member of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, is the largest healthcare provider in west central Pennsylvania, serving over a half-million patients each year through the Conemaugh Physician Group and Medical Staff, a network of hospitals, specialty clinics and patient focused programs. Conemaugh’s 4,500+ employees and 350+ physicians are committed to excellence and repeatedly earn state and national recognition for exceptional clinical outcomes.  Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, the system’s flagship hospital, provides sophisticated technology, the highest levels of trauma and neonatal intensive care and a committed history of training tomorrow’s physician, nurses and allied health providers.