GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Annual mammograms save lives by helping doctors detect breast cancer earlier. And the latest technology is helping them even more. Doctors are getting a clearer view of the breast thanks to 3D technology.
Gulfport Ob-Gyn Clinic is the first facility in South Mississippi to offer 3D mammograms to the public, and Ob-Gyn Doctor David Taylor says they're already seeing the benefits.
"When we get the results, we're finding that fewer people need follow-ups."
That's a big deal for people like Karen Gac. She's only 42 but has already had over twenty mammograms. She's never had breast cancer but has had abnormalities that often require follow-ups.
"I have fibrocystic breast disease, and I've had to have a lot of biopsies and ultrasounds as follow-ups to my mammograms." But since Gulfport Ob-Gyn (where Karen also works) started offering 3D, she says her last two mammograms required no follow-ups.
Board Certified radiologist, Dr. Mark Wall, says there is growing evidence to back that up.
"It reduces false positives by 50%. Not only detecting more cancers, but it reduces anxiety for women, knowing you won't be called back as often," said Dr. Wall.
Dr. Wall says the 3D imaging offers details that might be missed with conventional 2D mammography.
"The example I like to use is it's like looking at a foggy mirror with 2D, but 3 D helps clear the glass."
Wall says the imaging allows doctors to view each layer of the breast like the pages of a book.
"The big difference really when stats come out, is we detect cancer earlier and we're detecting more breast cancers with 3D technology."
Karen says a bonus to the technology is less pain during the test due to a shorter compression time.
"The others smashed you really hard. With this 3D, you breathe in and out, and they're finished."
Gulfport Ob-Gyn is available to do mammograms for anyone who has an order from their doctor. 3D mammograms are also offered at Keesler Air Force Base and more recently through Merit Health. Many health insurance companies are seeing the benefits as well, and are starting to cover the extra cost of a 3D mammogram.