Five years ago, the Platteville Quota Club joined hundreds of other contributors in pledging a donation to ensure Southwest Health would be able to provide the lifesaving technology of 3D Digital Mammography for the region’s communities. Their pledge totaled $5,000. Recently, Southwest Health’s CEO, Dan Rohrbach, and Imaging Director, JoAnn Geissbuhler, accepted the final pledge payment from the Club.
The 3D digital mammogram machine is making a difference in the lives of those throughout southwest Wisconsin. At Southwest Health alone, 91% of cancers found were found using 3D mammography. According to Geissbuhler, “Since implementation in 2016, we have seen nearly 5,000 patients for mammograms. There has been a 10% increase of women having mammograms at Southwest Health since then.” Geissbuhler went on to explain a few reasons why 3D mammograms are so important:
- More accurate detection: By minimizing the impact of overlapping breast tissue, 3D mammography can make a tumor easier to see.
- Earlier diagnosis: With 3D mammography, there is an ability to detect cancers earlier than with conventional mammography.
- Better detection in dense breast tissue: Dense breast tissue, often found in younger women, can cause shadows due to overlapping tissue, which hides tumors. 3D mammography takes images of the breast from multiple angles, offering a cutting edge look through and around breast tissue.
- Less anxiety: 3D mammography can help reduce false alarms. The improved accuracy in diagnosing abnormal structures offered by a 3D view of the breast decreases the number of unnecessary callbacks to women for additional scans and biopsies.
- Safe and effective: During a 3D mammogram, individuals will experience minimal amount of additional radiation, compared with a standard mammogram. However, this dose is below the FDA-regulated limit for mammography, and no additional risk has been shown from this small amount of radiation. The FDA studied the radiation issue before approving screening and diagnostic 3D mammography, concluding the benefits outweigh any potential risk.