Here in the Coastal Bend, the latest advancement in cutting-edge technology has arrived to help detect breast cancer.
Radiology Associates has acquired 3D mammography detection, which doctors say has a better chance of detecting breast cancer. Dr. Michael Michell of Radiology Associates said 3D mammography significantly reduces call backs by 20- to 40-percent.
"Any woman who is getting a mammogram would benefit from the 3D mammogram. It's just a better mammogram," Michell said. "The other advantage, it also tells us when things are benign and don't need to be called back."
3D mammograms involved multiple, rapid-fire pictures processed through a high-powered computer to create angles and build a three-dimensional model. The image allows doctors to focus on individual cross sections, which helps a radiologist analyze the images in greater detail.
"It is a little more radiation. It's a little bit over the normal mammogram, but the advantage is you're seeing more tissue," Michell said. "So there is an advantage to the increased radiation, and it's still relatively small. It's within safe limits."
At this time, 3D mammograms are not covered by most health insurance policies, so you are advised to check to see if you are covered. However, Michell said that you should always get your yearly mammograms, and always remember to do monthly self exams as well. Doctors say early detection is key when it comes to the fight against any cancer.