3d mammogram breast cancer awareness mercy health

Breast Cancer Awareness: Why One Couple Swears by 3D Mammograms

Mercy Health | Oct 30 2017

AJ and Janet Theuer are donating money to make 3D mammography more readily available; learn what makes this couple is so passionate about the 3D mammogram.

Janet Theuer was ready to schedule a mammogram, when her niece, a registered nurse, persuaded her to try a 3D mammogram.

3D mammography, also known as tomosynthesis, has been proven to increase breast cancer detection by as much as 10-30%. For a disease like breast cancer where early detection is key, enhanced clarity and accuracy means a direct correlation to more lives saved. According to Janet, she may have been one of those.

“I found out just before the holidays that I’d have to have a biopsy,” she said. “They found out it was cancer.”

After a lumpectomy and radiation therapy, the cancer was gone. As a result, Janet and her husband, AJ, credit her quick healing and recovery to the 3D mammogram.

“It was Stage 1A, the lowest you can be. It never got to the lymph nodes,” Janet said. “If I hadn’t had that 3D imaging and it had not shown up on the regular mammogram, what would another year have brought me?”

Janet’s experience made her such an advocate, she and AJ began contributing to a 3D mammography fund at Mercy Health.

In addition to early detection, here are three additional benefits of a 3D mammogram:

  1. Better dense breast tissue detection – dense breast tissue often has overlapping tissues, which can cause shadows that hide tumors to appear on 2D imaging. Because 3D mammography takes images of the breast from multiple angles, tumors are more easily detected.
  2. More peace of mind and less anxiety – 2D mammograms are less clear, which means doctors often need to see additional testing. 3D mammograms reduce call-backs by as much as 30%, saving women the anxiety, inconvenience, and expenses associated with false alarms.
  3. Safe and effective – 3D mammograms are FDA-approved. Increased exposure to radiation is minimal, and its benefits have been shown to outweigh any potential risk.

We suggest the following recommendations for receiving mammograms:

  • Women ages 50–74 with no additional risk factors for breast cancer should get a screening mammogram every 2 years.
  • Women ages 40–49 may benefit from regular mammograms, depending on their risk factors. Talk to your doctor about when you need to get screened.
  • If you are under age 40 with a family history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor about when you need to get screened.

For your next mammogram, ask your doctor if 3D imaging is a good option for you. To schedule an appointment in one of our eight regions, reach out to our team today.

Mercy Health

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