One of the latest innovations in women’s health care, three-dimensional breast mammography (3D mammography) allows the Wellmont Cancer Institute to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages.
With conventional two-dimensional mammography (2D mammography), breast cancers can be missed because they are sometimes hidden behind normal breast tissue.
Another problem is that normal breast tissues can overlap (or superimpose) one another, creating what radiologists call a summation shadow in a 2D image.
Though it isn’t a cancer, this “shadow” can appear to be cancer.
The effect is similar to the way the words on one side of a book page appear superimposed over the words on the back of the page when you hold it up to a light.
Unfortunately, that shadow means some patients are diagnosed with cancer who shouldn’t be.
For 3D mammography – which is also called 3D digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) or tomography – a short X-ray sweep around the breast is used to create an image of the whole breast.
The image is built from only nine low-dose exposures taken using this “step-and-shoot” method, which was designed to separate the tissues and reduce the overlapping that can result in false positive readings.
In fact, 3D mammograms allow the radiologist to take multiple pictures of each breast from various angles.
This just isn’t possible with a traditional 2D mammogram, which takes a single image in two directions.
The bottom line is that 3D digital mammography improves early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer while putting an emphasis on your wellbeing as a patient.
3D digital mammography provides:
In addition to being unique in some important ways, 3D mammography is also similar to 2D in some beneficial ways.
With the GE SenoClaire system we use, the dose is the same as standard 2D mammography, which helps us keep radiation levels as low as possible.
In other words, there is no increased radiation to patients during the 3D screening breast exam we offer.
Actually, SenoClaire is the only FDA-approved 3D breast tomosynthesis that delivers the same dose as a 2D view.
The position of the breast in 3D tomosynthesis is identical to 2D, which means the examination is no less comfortable.
Wellmont offers the only breast centers in the Tri-Cities region that are accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. The NAPBC is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to recognize breast centers providing quality care and to provide you with greater assurance of the level of care you'll receive there.
In addition to the benefits you read about above, our digital 3D mammography rooms feature SensorySuite. This is an all-encompassing interactive experience designed to make mammography less initimidating and more comfortable.
With SensorySuite, you choose the environmental ambiance you prefer to be surrounded by – such as the seaside, a garden or a waterfall – to create a more calming setting.
Learn more about the cancer institute
Find out why
you don't have to look further for superior cancer care.
Find answers to questions we commonly hear on our
mammography FAQ page.
You can find 3D digital mammography at:
Bristol Regional Medical Center
1 Medical Park Blvd., Bristol, TN
103 W. Stone Drive
Kingsport, TN 37660
In one convenient, spa-like facility, you can have access to expert physicians, advanced technology, including 3D mammography, and unmatched support for any breast health need – from prevention and screening to detection, treatment and survivorship.
438 E. Vann Road
Greeneville, TN 37743
*Please note, our Greeneville location uses the Hologic Selenia Dimension system, rather than the GE SenoClaire system, and does not feature SensorySuite rooms (described above).
To learn more about 3D mammography or to schedule a mammogram, please call:
Schedule Your Mammogram Today
Have questions about 3D mammography? Nurse connection is here – 24/7. Get answers. Access some of the best cancer specialists anywhere.
Or call a nurse now at 877-230-NURSE.
We give women hope. Our
women’s cancer experts specialize in gynecologic cancers, laparoscopic surgery and breast cancers.
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