October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and UofL Health is encouraging women to schedule their screening mammograms.
Because of UofL Health’s $1.5 million dollar investment in breast health, advanced breast cancer screening technology is now available at several UofL Health facilities including James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Shelbyville Hospital, Medical Center East, Medical Center South and soon – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital (October 2020 installation). All these locations offer 3D mammography exams using advanced breast tomosynthesis technology. These exams are clinically proven to significantly increase the detection of breast cancers and also decrease the number of women asked to return for additional testing.
“This investment in 3D mammography represents our commitment to ensuring that the highest quality care is available to our patients in their own community,” said Dorie Shelburne, vice president and chief nursing officer of ambulatory care for UofL Health.
In conventional 2D Mammography, overlapping tissue is a leading reason why small breast cancers may be missed and normal tissue may appear abnormal, leading to unnecessary callbacks. Exams using advanced tomosynthesis technology include a three-dimensional method of imaging that can greatly reduce the tissue overlap effect.
The exam includes both 2D images and 3D tomosynthesis scans. During the tomosynthesis, 3D portion of the exam, an X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple images. A computer then converts the images into a stack of thin layers, allowing the radiologist to review the breast tissue one layer at a time. The exam requires no additional compression and takes just a few seconds longer than a conventional 2D breast cancer screening exam.
Additionally, the new mammography units that have been installed at UofL Health facilities in 2020 are equipped with SmartCurve™, which provides improved comfort without compromising image quality. The SmartCurve system features a proprietary curved surface that mirrors the shape of a woman’s breast to reduce pinching and allow better distribution of force over the entire breast.
“Improved comfort increases the likelihood patients will stay up to date on screenings,” said Brian Mattingly, MD director of breast care, UofL Health – James Graham Brown Cancer Center. “And the high quality imagery provided through Genius 3D Mammography exams improves the ability to catch cancer early, which increases treatment options and the odds of beating it.”
UofL Health facilities offering mammography services will be celebrating in “pink” throughout the month, and will be providing patients with breast health informational materials and promotional items. Patients are encouraged to take selfies with the large pink ribbons and tag #UofLHealth when they post to social media. Additionally, on Friday, Oct. 16, Medical Center East will be the site for the bag pick-up for participants in the American Cancer Society’s virtual “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” event.
To schedule an appointment or refer a patient for a mammography screening at one of our UofL Health facilities, call 502-681-1405.