Dignity Health | hello Healthy | Summer 2019

Mammograms give women a crucial head start on finding breast cancer early, when treatment is often most effective. They can detect tumors that are still too tiny to feel and identify cancers before symptoms start. Still, although they’ve saved countless lives, these breast x-rays aren’t perfect. Mammograms may miss about 20% of all breast cancers, the National Cancer Institute reports. They can also cause false alarms by indicating abnormalities that turn out not to be cancer. As a result, women may undergo unnecessary – and often anxiety-producing – additional testing, including biopsies. A different dimension in breast x-rays A newer type of mammogram, however, may help overcome these flaws and improve the accuracy of breast cancer screening. It’s called three- dimensional, or 3-D, mammography. (Breast tomosynthesis is another name for it.) Here’s how it works: During a 3-D mammogram, a woman’s breast is compressed, just as it is for a standard mammogram. An x-ray machine moves over the breast, taking multiple, slice-like pictures. Special computer software then creates a detailed 3-D image of the breast. What’s the difference between regular 2-D and 3-D mammography? Pam Stolley, manager of St. Joseph’s Women’s Breast Imaging Center, describes it like this: “If you take a picture of a book in front of you, Learnwhy St. Joseph’s offers this advanced formof imaging that’s 2-D. If you take a 3-D picture of the book, you’re going to see the individual chapters and pages separated out. So you’re getting slices that are then all put back into one picture.” Because 3-D offers a much more detailed look inside a breast, 3-D MAMMOGRAMS An updated of breast cancer Scheduling is easy! To make an appointment at the Women’s Breast Imaging Center, call 209.466.5027 or visit StJosephsCares.org/Mammo . We offer convenient hours and same-day, next-day, and walk-in appointments. 4 DignityHealth.org/central-california | F all 2019