Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains the advantage of a 3-D mammogram.
"This is truly an amazing medical breakthrough," said Gritman Medical Center Director of Imaging, Doctor Christen Reisenauer.
When it comes to fighting breast cancer, Gritman Medical Center's Director of Imaging Doctor Christen Reisenauer said early detection is key.
"That's when it's most curable," said Reisenauer.
That's why Gritman recently purchased a 3-D mammography imaging modality.
"This is very unique," said Gritman Medical Center CEO Kara Besst. "The closest 3D mammography machine is down in McCall or over in the Tri-Cities."
"This represents a quantum leap over conventional mammography," said Reisenauer. "It likely represents the biggest advance in breast cancer detection in nearly 30 years."
Doctor Reisenauer said patients won't notice much of a difference. The 3-D mammography machine looks a lot like this 2-D one, and the exam takes about the same amount of time. The difference is in its detection abilities.
"One of the major limiting factors of 2-D mammography has been overlapping tissues," said Reisenauer. "With 3-D mammography, we're taking a three-dimensional image of the breast, which moves all those structures out of the way."
The doctors see a clearer picture of the breast, which increases detection rates and cuts back on the need for follow-up exams that can be stressful on patients. Doctor Reisenauer said the machine costs about a half-million dollars, and Gritman's CEO Kara Besst said the hospital made the investment to continue their commitment to women.
"We've had an emphasis on women's health for about 15 years now," said Besst. "We developed and installed a women's health center here at Gritman Medical Center, focusing on women's health because it is an important part of our mission as a hospital."
Gritman Medical Center is inviting the community to come learn about this new technology for themselves. They're holding an Open House on Monday evening at the hospital in Moscow from 5:30 to 7:30.