3-D mammograms now available in the Verde Valley

Breast tomosynthesis − also known as 3-D mammography − is now available Northern Arizona Healthcare locations where mammograms are offered, including Verde Valley Medical Center, VVMC − Sedona Campus and Verde Valley Medical Imaging Center. This advanced technology, which creates a high-resolution three-dimensional image of the breast, reduces false positives – as well as the worry, expense and extra radiation that come along with that follow-up call from the hospital.

According to Liz Palomino, NAH Medical Imaging Services director, research shows 3-D mammography exams are more accurate than conventional mammograms for women with either dense or non-dense breasts.

3-D mammography’s greater degree of detail means it is able to detect and pinpoint breast cancer at a higher and earlier rate − on average, about 15 months earlier than conventional mammography.

With early diagnosis, the breast cancer survival rate is almost 100 percent.

The process of getting a 3-D mammogram is about the same as a traditional one, in terms of compression and positioning. The difference lies in the technology itself: A traditional mammogram takes pictures top to bottom and side to side across the breast, while a 3-D mammogram records data throughout the imaging process; eliminating tissue overlap, which can degrade lesion visibility. Early results with digital tomosynthesis are promising and have shown improvement in all breast types.

This technology can reduce unnecessary callbacks up to 40 percent. We are so excited about being able to offer this technology in the upcoming months for our community. Purchasing this state-of-the-art equipment demonstrates how dedicated Northern Arizona Healthcare is to promoting the health of our patient population.

Liz Palomino

To schedule a mammography appointment at any NAH location, call central scheduling at 928-639-6580.