3D mammography now offered at Island

Amanda FloecknerPress Release

The Diagnostic Imaging (DI) Department at Island Hospital is now offering 3D mammography, a first for Skagit County. This new unit produces a three-dimensional view of the breast tissue that helps detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, when it is easier to treat and more curable.

While performed the same way as traditional mammography, 3D mammograms are beneficial for women with dense breast tissue as it provides a clearer image for radiologists. In addition, the new unit lessens the risk of a false positive, so there will far fewer callbacks for a second mammogram.

“We selected the Hologic GeniusTM 3D Mammography unit for its ranking  and reputation in the industry . The unit also has significant upgrade capabilities,” said DI Director Ray Ould CNMT. “We have several add-ons already selected once they are available.”

The Genius 3D exam

  • is the only mammogram that is Food and Drug Administration-approved as superior for women with dense breasts compared to 2D mammography alone.
  • finds 20-65% more invasive breast cancers than 2D.
  • reduces callbacks by up to 40%.

“We are very proud to be the first hospital in the county with 3D mammography,” said Island Hospital CEO Vince Oliver. “This is made possible with the recent passage of the property-tax levy as well as Ray Ould’s outstanding efforts to bring this service here in a most cost-efficient manner.”

One of every eight women will develop breast cancer. If caught early, the five-year survival rate is almost 100%. There are various guidelines suggesting when women should start screening and how often they should screen, but all medical groups agree that screening saves lives. Although the risk for breast cancer increases with age, younger women are at risk: One in six breast cancers occur in women age 40-49. Although any level of screening is better than none, it is estimated that screening every other year will miss up to 30% of cancers relative to annual screening. The American College of Radiology recommends an annual screening mammogram beginning at age 40, and these are the guidelines nearly all insurance companies follow. The majority of insurance plans will cover screening mammography due to its exceptional preventative health value.

To schedule your mammogram, call the Island Hospital Diagnostic Imaging scheduling line at (360) 299-4288.