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3D mammograms help detect breast cancer earlier

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3D mammograms help detect breast cancer earlier

It's a breast cancer screening option that could make a difference for millions of women.

The early detection mammograms provide is key to breast cancer survival rates, but for more than 25 million women who get regular screenings, having dense breast tissue makes results harder to read.

"It's sometimes hard to see, especially if the patient has real dense or fibrous tissue that can kind of show up white on a regular mammogram and hide over a mass, which also shows up white," explained Vicki Jordan at Baptist Hospital.

Vicki is the imaging operations manager at Baptist Hospital.

Since they added 3D mammograms six years ago, she said there are a number of times they have found masses more quickly, and possibly saved lives as a result.

"It had everything to do with the advanced mammogram. If not, it wouldn't have been found," said Darleen Teeters.

Darleen has dense breast tissue, so she'd been called for follow-ups in the past. She feels lucky the 3D was available this time because it found a Stage 1 cancer.

"They found this and they wanted to check it further, and they did. And the 3D showed it, and then from that point on it was like OK, let's get with this, let's treat this, get it out, let's go with it," Darleen said.

A study showed 3D mammograms increased detection of invasive cancers by as much as 50 percent in some groups of women.

They also reduced the rate of false positives and unnecessary follow-up testing.

Vicki said you should talk to your doctor and check with your insurance company because often it's covered.

Darleen wants everyone to know it's an option.

"Our modern technology in medicine is lifesaving, in more ways than one," she said.