Riverwood now offers 3D mammography in Aitkin

Riverwood mammography techs in Aitkin include, L to R, Erin Rach, Elizabeth Parks, Lynn Wenzel & Brenda Hillard

The five-year survival rate is close to 100 percent when breast cancer is caught early. Riverwood recently began providing 3D mammographyTM exams at its Aitkin hospital, which supports early breast cancer detection.

“We are thrilled to provide 3D mammography to our community,” said Jan Hegman, nurse practitioner and oncology care coordinator at Riverwood. “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.”

Three dimensional or 3D mammography, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, is a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic breast imaging tool to improve the early detection of breast cancer. Approved as an imaging modality by the FDA in early 2011, 3D mammography is used in combination with 2D digital mammography.

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.

Most insurance plans cover 3D mammograms. If your insurance plan does not cover 3D mammography, there are options available at Riverwood.

For more information or to schedule a mammogram, call Riverwood’s Radiology department at 218-927-5515.

Riverwood’s Garrison and McGregor clinics continue to offer conventional 2D mammography, which takes two-dimensional pictures of the breast and is still one of the most advanced tools available for detecting breast abnormalities.

“Women age 40 and older should have an annual mammogram, whether it’s 2D or 3D,” Hegman said. “But some women should be screened earlier due to family history and other risk factors. Ask your provider about the screening schedule recommended for you.”

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