Kathy is one of the lucky ones.
recent move to Medford required Kathy and her husband to select a new primary care doctor. As she was leaving her first doctor appointment, she walked past the breast center so she stopped in and made an appointment. A few days after her 3D mammogram, she got a call that they saw a spot and wanted to do a biopsy. Her doctor didn’t think it was cancer, but he wanted to make sure.
It was cancer but because they caught it so soon, she was at stage 0. “Without that machine, mine wouldn’t have been seen this year,” said Kathy. “Catching it so early gave me options for treatment.” Using traditional 2D mammography, it probably wouldn’t have been spotted until at least her next annual exam, at which point it may have been much more serious.
“3D mammography is improving our ability to see questionable areas more clearly,” said Dr. Kristina Darlington, radiologist. “For women and men facing the reality of a new breast cancer diagnosis, having access to the latest mammography technology is of the utmost importance.”
"3D mammography is improving our ability to see questionable areas more clearly"
- Dr. Kristina Darlington
With donor support, we purchased the region’s first Tomosynthesis machines, which take 3D images of the breast giving more detailed results.
3D mammography has increased detection rates by 41% nationwide and detects the cancer earlier than regular mammography. The number of patients who have to return for additional imaging has decreased.
“I tell my friends to do the 3D if they can. It’s awesome and a wonderful thing that donors have done for us,” said Kathy. “I felt guilty even saying I had cancer because it was so small and my treatment so minimal. It’s how everyone’s story should be.”