Health Watch

Watson Imaging Introduces 3D Mammography in St. Louis

3D Mammagraphy in St LouisThe best defense against breast cancer is early detection and diagnosis. Watson Imaging Center is introducing next generation early breast cancer detection thanks to True Breast Tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography.

While some breast cancer is found after symptoms appear, many women who have breast cancer do not experience symptoms, according to the American Cancer Society. The first step in early detection of breast cancer is a screening test, or screening mammogram, usually performed through annual mammograms. Screening tests are recommended for women who show no symptoms of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Detection

The earlier breast cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat successfully. Mammograms have been used for over 50 years to help screen for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommendations for screening tests, or mammograms, for women with an average risk for breast cancer are:

  • Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.
  • Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue annual mammograms. A woman should continue to get an annual mammogram as long as she is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends women with an average risk for breast cancer be offered mammograms at age 40.  A woman with an average risk of breast cancer has a less than 15% lifetime risk of breast cancer. Risk is determined through risk assessment tools that are based mainly on family history. Several other factors determine a woman’s lifetime breast cancer risk.

Do I Need a MammagramDo I need a Mammogram?

Women at high risk for breast cancer, based on certain factors, should get an MRI and a mammogram every year. Typically this starts at age 30 and continues as long as the woman remains in good health, according to the American Cancer Society. An MRI can be used in addition to, not instead of, a mammogram, because a mammogram may detect some cancers that an MRI would not. Women should decide when to start screening mammograms after discussing the topic with her doctor.

Up until now, mammograms have come in the form of digital 2D mammography. These types of mammograms are less effective in women who have decreasing sensitivity in dense breasts or from overlapping breast tissue, resulting in less-clear images and uncertainty for doctors, and sometimes a missed diagnosis. Up to 30% of cancers go undetected by standard mammography, and 52-76% of cancers are missed in dense breast tissue. When every year counts, earlier detection makes all the difference.

True Breast Tomosynthesis

True Breast Tomosynthesis works in much the same way as 2D mammography: the breast is compressed under a paddle while images are taken of the breast.  There are several differentiators in 3D mammography, however. True Breast Tomosynthesis takes images from many angles of each breast, which is not available in 2D mammography. Pictures are taken in a 50-degree arc around the breast for a more complete image. Twenty-five pictures are taken of each breast, and then those images are sent to a computer and assembled into a 3D picture of the breast. That 3D picture results in a clearer image for doctors to read, resulting in fewer missed breast cancer diagnoses.

St Louis True Breast Tomosynthesis 3D Mammography

With 3D mammography, or True Breast Tomosynthesis, breast cancer has no place to hide. At Watson Imaging Center, we want you to have peace of mind that you are getting the best mammogram and the most complete picture you can. Schedule your next mammogram at our St. Louis, Missouri location and get a True Breast Tomosynthesis mammogram.

EXCELLENCE IN CARING   •   We genuinely care!

Schedule Your Appointment!

With our convenient office hours, many procedures can take only ten minutes or less and walk-in x-rays are welcome. Please note that we do not perform ultrasounds on Saturdays.

Call Today

St. Louis, MO - Hours
Monday - Thursday
8am - 5pm
Friday
8am - 2pm
2nd / 4th Saturday
8am - 12pm
St. Joseph, MO - Hours
Monday - Thursday
8am - 5pm
Friday
8am - 12pm