BY DR. CATHERINE BUHLER, RADIOLOGIC ASSOCIATES OF FREDERICKSBUR

Each time that we take a big step forward in preventing cancer, I am thrilled for the women that I serve because I know the difference early detection will make. 3D mammograms are just that—the first big step forward in breast cancer prevention since mammogram screening began in the 1970’s. To put it simply, 3D mammograms allow us to see the breast tissue more clearly, and that means two important things for women. First, we can catch any concerns earlier. Second,we can reduce the need for callbacks and biopsies.

3D mammograms make it possible for a radiologist to look at the breast more thoroughly, which makes perfect sense because the human body is three-dimensional. For a radiologist, this new approach provides a greater level of detail, and that allows us to offer a better screening, better interpretation, and greater confidence for women.

The right choice is a personal one.

Breast health is a personal investment in your own health. Getting a 3D mammogram is what I recommend to my family members, and what I receive as a patient myself. I know the value of catching any cancer early—I’ve dealt with breast cancer in my own family.

Early detection is vital in the fight against cancer. When a problem is caught in its early stages, and is still small, lots of options are available. That means that a woman’s treatment choices are greater and that the outcomes are better. Smaller problems are much easier to treat. Early detection is our best chance to beat cancer until the day we discover a cure.

Don’t be confused about when to get a mammogram. Start at 40.

All of the best medical studies have shown that screening starting at age 40 provides the most benefit to the most women. The majority of breast cancer doesn’t happen to those who are at high risk. What’s more, it is impossible to tell if you are a high-risk patient until you have a screening, and for most women that happens at their annual mammogram. A delay in getting your first mammogram, which provides a baseline for future years, results in a greater risk.

It’s Working.

We invested in the latest technology as soon as major studies showed repeated success in detecting cancer and reducing callbacks. It’s the second and newest generation of 3D mammograms, which means it’s the best technology available. Our equipment allows us to deliver the same kinds of results that were found in the larger studies, to our patients locally. We’re confirming right here in our office what large research studies have already found—that 3D mammograms provide better detection.

Women who have had the greatest challenge with effective screenings due to dense breast tissue are getting much better results, and women of all breast types are also benefiting from this improved technology.

Working to ensure women’s health is something very personal to the women we serve, and it’s personal to me as a radiologist. I hope you will take advantage of the latest advances in protecting your health, and that you make this an annual commitment.

We’re offering the best choices locally.

There are big advantages to having your annual mammogram at the Imaging Center for Women. The center is designed to provide a soothing and relaxing atmosphere. It was decorated and organized to provide a “me time” experience for women, more like spending time on a quiet coffee break than visiting a medical facility. There’s always a radiologist available to answer questions at ICW. Technologists call on that expertise for questions they can’t answer, or when a patient needs additional information about a procedure.

“My father was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004—along with only 1% of men—and we went through all the challenges that any family faces. I’m grateful to say that he’s now doing well.”

Photography by Norm Shafer

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