United States

3D Mammogram Machines Help Local Doctors Detect Breast Cancer

Women should have annual mammograms beginning at age 40

Palomar Health in North County cut the ribbon on a new 3D mammogram machine Monday. It will help doctors detect breast cancer with more accuracy than ever before. 

The new 3D breast imaging machine is predicted to be up to 65 percent more accurate at detecting more invasive breast cancers, doctors said. 

Three new machines are at the Jean McLaughlin Women's Center at Palomar Medical Center in Poway. 

“Because we can go through all the layers of the breast tissues, we really get a good look," said Dr. Michele McGahan, a radiologist with Palomar Health. "We’re able to identify more cancers, more abnormalities and more of the invasive types of breast cancers.” 

It also reduces patient callbacks due to inconclusive images and is less painful than older 2D imaging machines. 

"The actual equipment itself is more comfortable for women," added Dr. McGahan. "And the 3D technology is faster so we're taking images at a more rapid speed." 

Two mammogram machines, as well as a new biopsy machine, cost Palomar Health $1.1 million, with most of the money coming from private donations.

One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It is recommended that women start to have annual mammograms at age 40.

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