LewisGale first to offer 3D mammography technology to Roanoke Valley

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SALEM (WSLS10) –LewisGale medical center unveiled the latest technology in detecting breast cancer Wednesday, that doctors there say will save lives.

Women no longer have to travel outside of the Roanoke Valley for the latest technology in mammography.

LewisGale medical center unveiled a new 3D imaging system experts say will help save lives, and detect breast cancer earlier.

Dr. Ron Broadwell, Lewis Gale's diagnostic radiologist has been working there for 22 years.

He says the new Genius 3D mammography can detect cancer quicker than ever, helping 90-percent of women, especially those with high density breasts.

It's technology he says will save lives.

"It has been proven in studies that this technique is actually 40-percent more sensitive in detecting small, invasive carcinomas, and with breast cancer, size matters. So the smaller you can detect cancer, the more likely the patient will be cured," Broadwell said.

Current 2D scanners take two images of the breast. Now, 3D imaging gives multiple layers, providing doctors with a variety of images.

"That's the beauty of breast tomography or 3D mammograms, is that you can move the overlying, obscure breast tissue," Broadwell said.

Side by side, doctors can already tell the difference between 2D and 3D images.

Broadwell showed an example of two images of the same breast. On the right side was the 2D image that showed no abnormalities.

On the left side was the 3D image which showed the breast actually had several cancerous spots that the 2D image didn't pick up.

Broadwell says the technology has been around for about three years. But until now, the closest 3D mamographer to Roanoke has been UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville and one at Centra Breast Imaging Center in Lynchburg.

Darlene Scarborough, Supervisor of the LewisGale Breast center says they; have had patients calling literally every day asking for this technology.

Now that this technology will be available, it isn't only closer to home for those in the Roanoke and New River Valley's, it will also reduce the number of those called back for more testing.

Scarborough is the person who makes those phone calls everyday. She says it is understandably very stressful for patients to hear they have had an abnormality in their mammogram. Often, retesting proves it is a false alarm.

This technology will take away those false alarms, reducing cost and unnecessary patient anxiety by reducing their call back rates by up to 40-percent.

"The women that used to get called back now won't get called back anymore. It's either going to be normal, or there is going to be a reason for a biopsy," Scarborough said.

The testing takes around the same ti

me as usual, and is covered by medicare and some commercial insurance plans with minimal fees.Testing will be open to patients at the end of January. Patients can begin scheduling those appointments at the first of January.

3D mammography will be available at LewisGale's following location:

LewsiGale Medical Center-LewisGale Breast Center

1802 Braeburn Drive, Salem, VA 24153Phone: 540-776-4983

To learn more about this technology visit www.genius3Dmammography.com.

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