Southeast Georgia Health System Now Provides Genius™ 3D Mammography™ Exams and Softer Mammograms
Patients benefit from enhanced image quality and comfort of breast cushion
The American Cancer Society (ACS) reports that early detection of breast cancer greatly increases a woman’s chances for survival, and the best opportunity to discover cancer early is to have an annual mammogram.
Southeast Georgia Health System is committed to providing the communities it serves with the highest possible standard of care using advanced technology. In November, the Health System began providing an innovative screening method at its breast imaging locations on the Brunswick and Camden campuses: Genius 3D Mammography™ exams using the MammoPad® breast cushion and SmartCurve™ breast stabilization system.
The Genius 3D Mammography exam, developed by Hologic, Inc., a worldwide leader in Women’s Health, utilizes advanced breast tomosynthesis technology to obtain high-resolution, limited-angle images. Genius 3D exams are clinically proven to significantly increase the detection of breast cancers and are quickly becoming recognized as the highest standard of care for breast cancer screenings.
The MammoPad breast cushion creates a warmer, softer and more comfortable mammogram experience. Mammography technologists report that the MammoPad breast cushion makes it easier for patients to relax. This enables technologists to better position the breast and capture more tissue during the screening for the best imaging results.
The SmartCurve breast stabilization system features a curved surface that mirrors the shape of a woman’s breast to reduce pinching and better distribute pressure over the entire breast, making the exam more comfortable. In a recent clinical study comparing SmartCurve to traditional flat paddle compression, the SmartCurve system improved comfort in 93% of women who reported moderate to severe discomfort with standard compression.
“Studies have shown that pain, or fear of pain, are major reasons some women do not return for annual mammograms—or refuse to get the exam altogether,” says Hillary Williams George, M.D., a fellowship-trained radiologist at the Health System’s Brunswick Campus. “The Health System is dedicated to providing superior care with the 3D mammography and a comfortable experience to decrease patient anxiety, encourage compliance and improve the patient experience.”
“3D mammography makes everything much clearer,” says Susan O’Sullivan, M.D., a board-certified radiologist and vice chief, Department of Radiology, Brunswick Campus. “It helps improve visualization of different parts of the breast without the confusion of having different tissues overlapping one another.”
In a conventional, 2D mammogram, two X-ray images are taken of each breast, creating a flat, two-dimensional view. Unclear or suspicious findings from these 2D views can increase the need for additional testing. Those findings usually turn out to be noncancerous, resulting in false-positives.
Genius 3D technology is designed to overcome these limitations. It takes multiple images from different angles using an X-ray tube that moves across each breast. Computers then reconstruct those images into thin cross-sections, or slices, of each breast.
“Compressing the breasts can cause overlapping tissue, which can hide cancerous masses deep within the breasts and make it more difficult to distinguish masses from harmless tissues,” explains O’Sullivan. “Genius 3D imaging makes it easier to see the layers of breast tissue, allowing for more accurate cancer detection.”
According to O’Sullivan, a 3D mammogram can be especially helpful in detecting cancer in women with dense breasts – defined as breasts made up of more glandular and fibrous connective tissues than fatty tissues. Women of all ages and breast densities may still benefit from the technology’s accuracy.
Overall, benefits of 3D mammography compared to 2D are:
- Reduces unnecessary callbacks by up to 40%: Women are less likely to be asked to return to the Mammography department for additional imaging due to abnormal findings on a screening mammogram.
- Improved early detection rates: 3D mammography can find 20-65% more invasive breast cancers than 2D mammography can.
- Superior for dense breasts
Southeast Georgia Health System offers 3D mammograms at the Breast Care Center on the Brunswick Campus, the Medical Plaza across from the Brunswick Campus, and Women’s Imaging on the Camden Campus. This 3D technology will also be available on the WOW mobile health vehicle in 2020. Conventional mammograms continue to be an option at Southeast Georgia Health System as well.
Most major health insurance plans cover 3D mammograms. If you have questions about this important breast health procedure, please call 912-466-5234. To schedule a mammogram, please call 912-466-1240.
About Southeast Georgia Health System
Southeast Georgia Health System is a not-for-profit health system comprised of two acute care hospitals, two long term care facilities, three immediate care centers, five family medicine centers and numerous employed physician practices. The Health System has multiple outpatient specialty care centers, including the only CyberKnife® Program in the region and one of only four in Georgia, and a Cancer Care Center accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. For more information, call 855-ASK-SGHS (855-275-7447) or visit sghs.org.
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