3-D mammography credited with spotting cancer earlier


When OB/GYN of Indiana in Carmel installed new 3-D mammogram technology in November 2016, Carla Taylor had no idea how quickly it would save her life.


Taylor, who works as a medical assistant at OB/GYN of Indiana, was diagnosed with stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma after it was spotted on the 3-D mammogram.

“The regular mammogram looked normal. Then I did the 3-D mammogram and they spotted the cancer,” Taylor said. “It was shocking. Who knows how invasive it would have been in a year or two? I had to have a lumpectomy and 20 treatments of radiation.”

She feels fortunate the 3-D mammogram caught her cancer at an early stage.

“I highly recommend 3-D because it was quite shocking you couldn’t see it on the regular mammogram. It was very scary,” Taylor said. “The 3-D mammogram saved my life.”

The 3-D technology can detect cancer earlier than traditional 2-D mammograms in many cases.

“The 3-D imaging, or tomosynthesis, does exactly what it says. It takes different slices of the image, and then it will configure it to put together a 3-D image versus just a 2-D image,” Dr. Richard Gates said. “In some certain conditions you do a better job imaging and detecting abnormalities with a 3-D picture instead of a 2-D picture.”

Gates said certain populations of women will benefit from 3-D mammography more than others.

“The people you are targeting with 3-D are patients who are told they have more dense breast tissue and women who are at higher risk for breast cancer, whether it be due to family history or genetics,” Gates said.

There is an additional cost with the 3-D mammogram as most insurance plans do not yet cover it. For more, visit obgynindiana.com.


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