MANKATO, Minn. — Patients who visit Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato now have greater access to enhanced technology for breast cancer screenings. The medical center recently installed its second and third 3D mammography (breast tomosynthesis) machines, and Mayo Clinic Health System physicians and staff members are excited about what this means for patients.
“This new, state-of-the-art technology enables us to not only see cancers earlier, especially in women with denser breast tissue, it has also now been shown to decrease the recall rate, meaning that you’re less likely to get called back for anything unnecessary,” says Michael Wolf, M.D., Mayo Clinic Health System radiologist. “Finding cancers earlier should lead to improved survivability.”
When used for breast cancer screening, 3D mammogram machines create 3D images and standard 2D mammogram images. Studies show that combining 3D mammograms with standard mammograms reduces the need for additional imaging and slightly increases the number of cancers detected during screening. But more study is needed to understand whether 3D mammograms may reduce the risk of dying of breast cancer more than a standard mammogram alone.
Combining a 3D mammogram with a standard mammogram can:
- Reduce the need for follow-up imaging
- Detect slightly more cancers than a standard mammogram alone
- Improve breast cancer detection in dense breast tissue
“More than one in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime,” adds Dr. Wolf. “We cannot yet prevent breast cancer, but we can do the next best thing, and that is to find these cancers as early as possible. Doing so gives us the best ability to treat cancer successfully and let those women go on to live the rest of their lives cancer-free.”
Another recent development with 3D mammography is insurance coverage. While this screening wasn’t often covered in the past, most insurance plans now pay for the exam.
Call 507-594-4700 to schedule an appointment at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato.
Mayo Clinic Health System consists of clinics, hospitals and other health care facilities that serve the health care needs of people in more than 60 communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. The community-based providers, paired with the resources and expertise of Mayo Clinic, enable patients in the region to receive the highest-quality health care close to home.
Press ContactMicah Dorfner