Mayo Clinic Health System offers new 3-D breast imaging for cancer screenings

Published 8:34 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Patients who visit Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea now have greater access to enhanced technology for breast cancer screenings. The medical center recently installed its second mammography machine, but the first to provide 3-D scans. The new technology allows radiologists to see breast scans, reduce false positives and increase cancer detection.

“This new, state-of-the art technology enables us to not only see cancers earlier, especially in women with denser breast tissue, it has also now been shown to decrease the recall rate, meaning that you’re less likely to get called back for anything unnecessary, which is less stressful for our patients,” said Dr. Brandon Stott, radiologist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin. “Finding cancers earlier should lead to improved survivability.”

When used for breast cancer screening, 3-D mammogram machines create 3-D images and standard 2-D mammogram images. Studies show that combining 3-D mammograms with standard mammograms reduces the need for additional imaging and slightly increases the number of cancers detected during screening. Combining a 3-D mammogram with a standard mammogram can:

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• Reduce the need for follow-up imaging.

• Detect slightly more cancers than a standard mammogram alone.

• Improve breast cancer detection in dense breast tissue.

“More than one in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime,” Stott said.

“We unfortunately cannot prevent breast cancer yet, but we can do the next best thing, and that is to find these cancers as early as possible. Doing so gives us the best ability to treat cancer successfully and let those women go on to live the rest of their lives cancer-free.”