3D Mammography Coming to Hilo

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3D mammography. PC: Hawaii Radiology Associates Ltd.

Hilo is expecting new technology to help detect breast cancer early beginning Aug. 1, 2019.

Hawai‘i Radiologic Associates Ltd. provides a wide array of diagnostic imaging exams and procedures, including digital breast tomosynthesis (better known as 3D mammography), MRI, breast MRI, CT, X-ray, fluoroscopy, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, interventional radiology and angiography.

HRA will offer 3D mammography, which can improve breast cancer detection, particularly among those with dense breast tissue, which usually makes breast cancer more difficult to detect.
With 3D mammography, multiple slices of the breast are captured at all different angles than brought together by a radiologist one slide at a time—almost like the pages in a book. This is much easier for doctors to more closely examine if there is anything concerning.
Digital breast tomosynthesis is credited with improved cancer detection. In fact, it has been found to be 25% more effective at detecting cancers and less likely to produce false positives than traditional 2-D mammograms.

3D mammography technology will be available at Hawaii RadiologyAssociates Ltd. PC: Hawaii Radiology Associates Ltd.

Those of Asian heritage (nearly 40% of the population in Hawai‘i) are statistically more likely to have dense breast tissue and contract breast cancer earlier because it is more difficult to detect, according to Radiologist Scott Grosskreutz, founder of the Hawai‘i Breast Society.

Perhaps that is why, according to the Center for Disease Control, Hawai‘i had the 10th highest rate of breast cancer in the United States in 2016. Grosskreutz said an estimated 1,280 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society.
Similar to a traditional mammography, during the procedure the woman’s breasts are held in place by two compression plates; however, a robotic arm will move in an arc as multiple X-rays are taken. The dose is only slightly higher than a standard 2D mammography and the entire procedure takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes.
More good news—the Hawai‘i Medical Service Association just recently added coverage for 3D mammograms.
Grosskreutz encouraged women to make regular appointments for screening.
“Don’t wait until your 50s,” he said.

Breast cancer screening. PC: Hawaii Radiology Associates Ltd.


In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, nearly a quarter of new female breast cancer cases in 2017 were among women younger than 50 years old.

Digital breast tomosynthesis was approved in 2011 by the US Food & Drug Administration.
HRA President Dr. David Camacho said “Since the early 1980s, HRA has been the leader of breast imaging on Hawai‘i Island. While this was a substantial investment for us, we believe the 3D mammography will better serve our patients.”

This will be the first technology of it’s kind on Big Island.

Dr. Camacho said, “We believe that bringing 3D mammography to the Big Island will enable us to find more cancers earlier, leading to a better outcome for the women of this island.”


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