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El Camino Hospital Offers 3-D Mammograms to Assist in Detecting Breast Cancer Earlier

January 26, 2017 – El Camino Hospital announced today it is offering tomosynthesis, also known as 3-D mammography, at its Mountain View location. This new technology has been shown to reduce false positives by up to 40 percent and detect up to 40 percent more invasive breast cancers. 

A 3-D picture of the breast using X-rays and computer technology allows physicians to look at the breast tissue layer by layer. Research has shown that this method enables doctors to screen for breast cancer with much greater accuracy. By taking multiple pictures of each breast from varying angles, the computer assembles the pictures into high resolution 3-D images.

With a 2-D image, there can be a significant amount of overlapping tissues, making it difficult to see an abnormality. The 3-D tomosynthesis mammogram enhances details in the tissue, making abnormalities more visible and less likely to be hidden by overlapping tissue. Additionally, normal tissue is less likely to be mistaken for an abnormality and this avoids further testing and worrying on behalf of the patient.

 “All women, regardless of breast density or age can benefit from a tomosynthesis mammogram. The level of compression is the same as 2-D mammogram and it takes just a few seconds longer,” said Dr. Sila Yitta, medical director of Breast Imaging and Intervention at El Camino Hospital. “The technology distributes the same low level of radiation as a 2-D mammogram and there is a significant increase in cancer detection. I believe it will become the standard for breast cancer detection in the very near future.”

El Camino Hospital recommends women over the age of 40 have annual screening mammograms. Results are available by phone within one to two business days. Patients are advised to consult with their insurance provider as to coverage for the 3-D tomosynthesis mammogram.

El Camino Hospital is accredited by the American College of Radiology as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence and the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS), a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving patient outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education and monitoring of comprehensive, high quality care.

What does this mean for our patients?
Every year over 200,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer, and every year, breast cancer that has spread from the breast to other parts of the body kills about 40,000 women. When breast cancer is detected early—before it has spread—it is easier to treat and women have a much better chance of surviving breast cancer. At El Camino Hospital, we put the needs of our patients first and strive to provide highly personalized healthcare services, care and treatment.