IU Health White Memorial brings advanced, 3D mammography technology closer to home

Indiana University Health White Memorial Hospital is now offering breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography.

Brandy Edwards, MPM-HM, B.S., RT(R)(CT)ARRT, ACHE, Diagnostic Imaging Manager at IU Health White Memorial Hospital noted, “This leading edge technology reveals greater detail, which may help us detect cancer sooner. We believe it’s important to broaden our geographic reach so that women across the region have access to 3D mammography.”

The new equipment installed at IU Health White Memorial Hospital, works much like traditional mammography. During the 3D portion of the exam, an X-ray arm sweeps over the breast, taking multiple images in seconds. This is especially good for women with dense breast tissue because the dense tissue is difficult to see through on standard 2D imaging. The 3D imaging allows the radiologist to scroll through that tissue in very thin layers, like looking at each page of a book instead of just the front cover.

“Tomosynthesis gives us the ability to see masses, particularly in dense breast tissue, that we might have difficulty detecting with traditional mammography. Because it reduces the overlap of tissue, most investigators have found that it leads to fewer callbacks and therefore less anxiety for women,” explains Phyllis Martin-Simmerman, MD, a specialist in breast imaging for IU Health Arnett Physicians Radiology

The National Breast Cancer Foundation reports that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Starting at age 40, women should begin scheduling annual screening mammograms. High-risk women may need earlier screening. If breast cancer is detected early, a patient’s five-year survival rate is 98 percent. If you would like to schedule a mammogram or have questions about this important breast health procedure, please call IU Health White Memorial Hospital at, 574.583.1714.