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Braselton Imaging Center offers 3-D mammography as life-saving tool
New procedure provides better way to detect cancer, doctors say
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Dr. Ajay K. Ravi, a radiologist, looks at patient screenings for indications of breast cancer at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton Imaging Center on Friday. Traditional mammograms give radiologists a flat, two-dimensional representation of the breast, but the new technology creates a three-dimensional image using many layers of the breast, so fine details are more visible and no longer hidden by the tissue above or below. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Imaging Center Braselton

Where: Medical Plaza 1, 1515 River Place, Braselton, 30517

Phone: 770-848-6150, 770-219-7666

Website: www.nghs.com/imaging-center-braselton

Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s Imaging Center in Braselton has introduced new technology that doctors say is better equipped to detect breast cancer than traditional mammograms.

Though the exam only takes a few seconds longer than a traditional mammogram, the three-dimensional technology is proven to detect 41-percent more invasive breast cancers than traditional mammograms.

“Traditional mammograms give radiologists a flat, two-dimensional representation of the breast,” said Julie Presley, MD, of Gainesville Radiology Group and medical director of Women’s Imaging at NGMC.

“The new technology creates a 3-D image using many layers of the breast, so fine details are more visible and no longer hidden by the tissue above or below. The technology means radiologists have to do fewer call-backs for repeat exams because what appeared to be questionable in a traditional image may be very clear in a 3-D image.”

Debbie Duke, executive director of Imaging Services at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, said that “providing the very latest and best technologies is part of our organization’s commitment to continuous improvement. We are the first in the region to offer this technology and see this innovation as a dramatic improvement in the way we care for our patients, as we work to remain on the forefront of breast cancer screening.”

The experience for patients is similar to a traditional mammogram, according to Presley: no additional compression is required, and the exam takes only a few seconds longer for each view.

Early detection of breast cancer in the past few decades has dramatically increased breast cancer survival rates, with a 98 percent five-year survival rate of localized breast cancer cases.

Eight out of nine women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history, and a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime is 1 in 8.

“Whether a patient opts for a 3-D or traditional mammogram, early detection is vital,” Presley said. “Early detection means we can catch things earlier, and the sooner we identify a problem, the less invasive the treatment will have to be.”

To that end, Dr. Presley said her practice, Gainesville Radiology Group, disagrees with new guidelines recently released by the American Cancer Society stating women can wait until age 45 to begin screening mammograms (compared to the previous recommendation of starting at age 40) and can discontinue annual mammograms at age 55, opting instead for every other year.

“We follow the guidelines of the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging, both of whom continue to recommend that women get yearly mammograms starting at age 40 (or sooner in certain circumstances) and continue annually as long as their health is good,” she said. “When you see the numbers of breast cancers we have identified at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in women who are in their 30’s and early 40’s, it is readily apparent the importance of not waiting until age 45.”

To schedule an appointment, call the Imaging Center at 770-219-7666.

 

Imaging Center Braselton

Where: Medical Plaza 1, 1515 River Place, Braselton, 30517

Phone: 770-848-6150, 770-219-7666

Websitewww.nghs.com/imaging-center-braselton

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