Pink Up: 3D imaging more accurate in diagnosing breast cancer | News
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS)- They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case, it may be worth a whole lot more, someone's life.
Sister Maureen Elfrink was first diagnosed with breast cancer in the early 90s. She said she faithfully got her routine mammograms, so doctors were able to catch the cancer early.
"No radiation, no chemotherapy," said Elfrink.
Even after doctors treated her cancer, and it was gone, Elfrink still got annual mammograms. Then, just last year, doctors again diagnosed her with breast cancer.
"I thought it's just an annual mammogram, and it will be just another negative, I was really very surprised to find that I had cancer again," said Elfrink.
In the usual two-dimensional mammogram, everything seemed to be okay. But Saint Francis Cancer Institute got a new screening method: Tomosynthesis, or a 3-D imaging system.
With the new pictures, doctors noticed the area for concern in Elfrink.
"I feel very lucky that again we got it early," said Elfrink.
Doctor Olivia Aranha said patients who get their mammograms at Saint Francis automatically get the latest 3-D screening.
"We wouldn't be doing the right thing if we didn't do Tomosynthesis for screening," said Aranha.
She said it helps give a more accurate diagnosis. 2-D mammograms are like an X-ray. But, the new 3-D imaging system captures multiple images from different angles to create a clear picture of the tissue inside the breast.
"It has improved the detection of earlier stage breast cancer," said Aranha.
Aranha said women find the 3-D screening to be more appealing, not just because it can see cancer more clearly.
"It's much more comfortable for the woman, there's not as much compression," said Aranha.
She said it's also helped reduce the number of false positive cases.
"In the past we'd see something on the regular mammogram, then the woman would get called in, she'd get tested when she really didn't have cancer," said Aranha.
While pictures can capture moments in the past, these pictures can help create more moments for the future.
"I think we are able to see cancers better," said Aranha.
"I really believe in this new machine, I just think it was my miracle," said Elfrink.
Aranha reminds people over the age of 40 to get a routine mammogram.