3D mammography goes live in McGregor

Julie Orbeck, mammography coordinator for Riverwood’s McGregor clinic, with the new 3D mammography machine

In mid-December, Riverwood Healthcare Center began providing 3D mammography exams at its McGregor clinic.

“We are thrilled to provide 3D mammography to our community,” said Dr. Aaron Jordan, family physician at Riverwood’s McGregor clinic. “It can help detect cancer earlier because it offers multiple images of breast tissue for greater clarity and accuracy. There’s also a benefit to women with dense breast tissue, which can cause shadows due to overlapping tissue and hide tumors from traditional 2D mammography.”

The 3D mammography machine at the McGregor clinic includes the SmartCurve™ system, which is designed to provide a better patient experience.

“A fear of pain and discomfort may prevent some women from making regular mammograms a priority,” said Lynn Wenzel, Riverwood mammography coordinator. “Missed screening appointments can increase the risk of a breast cancer being missed or diagnosed at a more advanced stage. We’re so pleased to help improve the mammography experience for our patients with this new technology. When women feel less anxiety during the mammogram exam, it can help provide a better quality breast image.”

A 3D mammogram (breast tomosynthesis) is an imaging test that combines multiple breast X-rays to create a three-dimensional picture of the breast. A 3D mammogram is used to look for breast cancer in people who have no signs or symptoms. It can also be used to investigate the cause of breast problems, such as a breast mass, pain and nipple discharge.

3D mammography offers better, earlier detection than conventional mammography. It finds 20-65% more invasive cancers than conventional mammography alone, an average increase of 41 percent.  It reduces unnecessary callbacks for suspicious findings that prompt more testing by about 40 percent.

3D mammography complements standard 2D mammography. No additional breast compression is required and it only takes a few more seconds. The experience will be very similar to mammograms patients have had in the past. As is typical with any mammogram exam, some women experience minor discomfort and others experience no discomfort at all.

Riverwood has offered 3D mammography at its Aitkin hospital since 2018. For more information or to schedule a mammogram, call Riverwood’s Radiology department at 218-927-5515.