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HRMC Adds 3D Mammography to Aid in the Fight Against Cancer

Oct 04, 2021 08:26AM ● By Med Magazine

Pictured Above:  Van Winkle and Lanah Reimer, mammography technicians, are shown at the control panel in HRMC’s new 3D mammography suite.

Because one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), breast cancer screenings are a vital step in prevention. Annual mammograms allow physicians to detect cancer at its earliest and most treatable stages. And now, Huron Regional Medical Center is getting a boost in breast cancer detection, with the addition of 3D mammography.

Dr. Anthony Loewen, general surgeon, New Life Clinic

 “With 3D mammography, several different angles of X-rays recreate a three-dimensional image of breast tissue on a computer,” explains Anthony Loewen, MD, general surgeon at HRMC and New Life Clinic. Traditional 2D mammography takes images of two sides of the patient’s breast. A 3D mammogram takes several photos while the machine moves in an arc, and then splices the photo together to create a 3D image.

“We can use the analogy of a loaf of bread,” says Ann Van Winkle, RT(R)(M)(CT), radiology technologist at HRMC. “With 2D mammography, you can look at the top and sides of the loaf. 3D lets us look at each individual slice.” This means that tumors hiding in overlapping tissues might be seen more easily with 3D imaging.

Using this technology for regular cancer screenings can help radiologists detect small changes in the breast, leading to finding cancer in more treatable stages and improving patient outcomes. “We want women to feel good about being proactive in their health care,” Van Winkle says. “A mammogram could save your life!”

HRMC’s new 3D mammography system, the GE Senographe Pristina, also includes a 3D biopsy platform. Within 15 minutes, the technologist can have the biopsy platform set up so a physician can locate the concerning area and perform the biopsy right in the mammography suite.

3D mammography is now available to women in the region. The ACS recommends women of average risk for breast cancer begin getting yearly screening mammograms at age 45. Women who have a personal or family history, should talk with their doctor about earlier screening.

To help raise awareness of breast cancer and early detection, HRMC is partnering with several local groups during October’s Breast Cancer Prevention and Awareness month. Several events are planned, including:

·        October 15, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Prostrollo Motor Sales 1-Mile Walk for Breast Cancer

·        October 20, 4:30-8:00 p.m., Runnings Farm & Fleet annual Ladies’ Night Out

·        October 26, 7 p.m., HHS Pink Out Volleyball Match

Funds raised will benefit the HRMC Foundation’s We’ve Got You Covered program, which provides free mammograms to women in need. For more information about We’ve Got You Covered or to schedule a 3D mammogram, call 605-353-6334 or visit