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DCMH showcases new women's imaging systems

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Photo by Pat Sunderland Rochelle Somers, lead mammography technologist at Delta County Memorial Hospital, explains how the hospital's newly-installed prone breast biopsy table offers multiple angles for radiologists and added comfort for patients. Somers

Area residents had an opportunity to view Delta County Memorial Hospital's new 3D mammography system and prone biopsy table last week.

The new technology offers earlier detection, more accuracy and an improved patient experience.

3D mammography exams are clinically proven to increase invasive cancer detection and reduce recall rates. They are particularly beneficial for women with denser breasts, a mammography technologist explained during the tour.

"This hospital is dedicated to providing the latest technology for highest quality care which now includes women's imaging services for 3D mammography exams, the first prone 3D breast biopsy table in the state of Colorado and only the fourth in the nation, and also the latest DEXA bone scanning equipment," said CEO Jason Cleckler.

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 call backs. A 3D mammography exam can greatly reduce this tissue overlap effect.

During the tomosynthesis portion of the exam, an X-ray arm sweeps in a light 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. A 3D exam requires no additional compression and each scan is completed within seconds.

Just down the hall is the first 3D prone breast biopsy table in the state. This new 3D technology may help pinpoint subtle lesions and calcifications found during 2D and 3D mammography exams. Patients are more comfortable and radiologists have full 360-degree access to the breast to be biopsied.

The third piece of equipment on the tour was the DXA bone density scanning system, which offers crisp, clear resolution images to assess bone mineral density. Patients experience greater comfort, faster exam times and low X-ray dose examinations.

Not all insurance companies cover the 3D mammography exams, so patients are encouraged to check with their health insurance provider before scheduling an appointment. Traditional 2D mammography exams will still be available for patients.

To schedule a 3D mammography exam or bone density scan, call DCMH medical imaging at 874-2214.

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