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Rapid City Medical Center Brings 3D Mammography to the Black Hills

Oct 27, 2017 04:40PM ● Published by Digital Media Director

By: Alex Strauss

Rapid City Medical Center has become the first institution in the Black Hills to offer area women 

 access to 3D mammography services. RCMC examined its first patients with the new technology last month - coincidently, just in time for national Breast Cancer Awareness month.

“I care a great deal about women’s health and I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to make some significant changes from the inside,” says RCMC CEO Jennifer Trucano, a healthcare lawyer who took the helm of the facility two years ago. “I went to my board and said ‘We need to do this because women are dying and they don’t have access to this technology.’”

3D mammography has been shown to detect breast cancer 15 months earlier and detect 41% more invasive cancers than conventional mammography. It also reduces unnecessary callbacks by 40%, especially in younger women..

“At 40, a woman’s breast is still so dense that it is hard to see through. So these women get called back. That is not just additional stress and anxiety but also more cost.,” says RCMC Ob/Gyn Marcia Beshara, MD. Because 3D mammography takes multiple image “slices” through the breast, it makes it easier to see around these densities.

“I think the only reason we did not have it here in our region is that no one had asked about it,” says. Dr. Beshara who adds that she knows Black Hills women who have driven to smaller eastern SD cities just to get 3D mammograms. 

The introduction of 3D mammography at RCMC includes a remodel of the mammography area to create a more soothing, spa-like environment. “We want patients to go away not only feeling like they had the best exam possible but that they also had a positive experience,” says Dr. Beshara.

“I’m proud of Dr. Beshara and of the board for doing what’s right for the community and our patients,” says Trucano.

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