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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: 3-D Mammography Saving More Lives

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“Doing a mammogram is the best way you’re going to find out if you have cancer and it’s going to save your life if we can diagnose it when it’s so tiny we can save your life,” Mary Beth Savino, Mammography Coordinator at Guthrie said. 

A new and improved type of mammogram is detecting 40% more cancers than ever before, some calling it a breakthrough in the fight against breast cancer. 

“We are finding them so tiny now, I mean just a couple millimeters that only show on this 3-D imaging. Who knows how big it would’ve gotten before we could actually see it on the 2-D? And the 2-D is still great, don’t get me wrong! It’s great and if your insurance doesn’t cover the 3-D and you don’t want to pay the extra, 2-D is certainly still very, very good the 3-D is just like that fillet mignon of the mammogram…it’s just a little better, a lot better,” Savino said. 

It’s the same general process as a traditional mammogram, and takes only a little bit longer. 

“Right here, is a small little mass we can see the straight lines again so that’s a speculated little cancer which is kind of hard to see on this 2-D mammogram,” Dr. Elizabeth Werner said. 

Werner says the images from a 3-D mammogram are much more detailed, leaving cancer less places to hide. 

“Things we’re looking for are what we call asymmetries which are just little densities and increasing white spots. We also look for masses…,”Werner said.

Passionate about saving women’s lives, members of the breast cancer team at Guthrie share their own personal stories with patients to remind them of the importance of regular mammograms,” Werner said. 

“I lost my youngest sister to breast cancer at the age of 38, so I use that personal life experience to say hey you know this is important let’s figure it out,” Lori Havens, a Guthrie Mammographer said. 

“She was already a stage four, that is not a curable cancer and again she had a battle and we did the best through it, patient’s can relate to that because a lot of patients have somebody out there that they’ve lost or they know a friend or family member and that’s usually enough to capture them and say you know OK, I understand, I’ll do it,” Havens said. 

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