3D Digital Mammography Now Available in Kittitas County

11/1/2017

KVH Hospital has recently upgraded its mammography suite and equipment. With the support of The Foundation at KVH, 3D digital mammography with computer aided detection is now available locally.

3D digital mammography with computer aided detection is the most advanced mammography technology.  From a patient’s perspective, a 3D mammogram is the same as any other type of mammogram.  However, a 3D mammogram takes many more images of the breast tissue and recreates a digital 3D picture of the breast for the radiologist to examine. 

The newest 3D technology has been shown to detect cancers better and earlier than traditional film mammography and 2D digital mammography. In addition, women who have a 3D mammogram are less likely to have a false positive. A false positive occurs when a mammogram looks abnormal even though no cancer is present.  Most false positives result in additional follow-up mammograms.

“Though the procedure is the same, the new mammography unit makes the exam much more comfortable,” said KVH Director of Diagnostic Services Stacy Olea.  “The new unit uses all rounded corners to eliminate all of the sharp edges that you find on older models.” Other smaller touches to make the exam more comfortable include new plush robes and a more relaxing and soothing environment in the mammography suite.

Bringing digital mammography to Kittitas County was the focus of The Foundation at KVH’s fundraising efforts in 2016. Over the course of the year, 180 private donors and businesses contributed nearly $80,000 towards the upgrade of the digital mammography equipment.  Of this total, $15,000 was donated by the KVH Auxiliary, which raises funds primarily through the operations of the Treasure Box Gift Shop and Espresso within the hospital. Activities with the Tough Enough to Wear Pink program generated another $5,000 of the total.

Several businesses contributed to the campaign by holding public events, including Puget Sound Energy, Iron Horse Brewery, and Gård Vintners.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer.  Recommendations for how often women should receive mammography screening depend on a woman’s age, individual health, and family history of disease. Women should talk to their healthcare provider to determine a screening schedule that is right for them.

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