Arizona's first 3D mammography available soon at JCL Breast Health and Research Center

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PHOENIX – Doctors at John C. Lincoln's Breast Health and Research Center are getting a new tool to help them with the early detection of breast cancer. It’s 3D mammography and it’s a first in Arizona.

Tess Rafols talked to Dr. Linda Greer, a certified radiologist in breast imagery, about the new procedure, which will be available in April.

Unlike regular digital mammography, the 3D mammography allows radiologists to see through dense tissue so they can spot the tiniest tumors as early as possible. People can actually schedule appointments now.

The Selenia Dimensions hardware, which was developed by Holologic, was installed last year, but it could only be used for traditional 2D images. The federal approval required for 3D use came last month. Now they are just dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.

One benefit of 3D mammography, also called tomosynthesis, is the clearer picture it provides. It also eliminates the confusing overlapping of tissue seen in conventional mammograms. That overlap can hide cancerous lesions or even cause benign areas to look suspicious, requiring further testing.

“I am amazed at the videos I’ve seen thus far of this technology,” Greer said. “They show things that absolutely are not visible on the 2D study.”

"This is critically important, especially for younger women with dense breast tissue, because it means we will be able to find and identify cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage," said, Sherry Gage the director of John C. Lincoln's Breast Health and Research Center in a new release. "The bottom line? With this system we can save more lives."

The 3D mammogram takes just a second or two longer than the traditional 2d mammogram. While there is a bit more radiation, Greer said it’s comparable to a chest X-ray. Because it can eliminate the need for further testing in some cases, a woman could be exposed to less radiation in the long run.

To get the new 3D mammogram, all you have to do is request it when you make your appointment at at John C. Lincoln Breast Health and Research Center.

John C. Lincoln's Breast Health and Research Center is located at 19646 N. 27th Ave., Suite 205, Phoenix. Call 623-780-HOPE (4673) to schedule your mammogram.