3D mammography coming to McKee

May 23, 2016

LOVELAND, Colo. – McKee Medical Center is moving to the latest in breast health technology for Northern Colorado patients. Starting May 24, the McKee Breast Center will offer 3D breast tomosynthesis and full-field digital mammography to all patients needing screening mammograms.

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) is a new imaging technology that detects smaller cancers, and up to 60 percent more invasive cancers than conventional digital mammography and reduces patient "recalls" for additional imaging by up to 40 percent.

The technology works by providing radiologists with better tissue visualization and improved breast tissue detail by showing the breast images in multiple slices instead of just the two views provided by 2D imaging.

“Adding DBT to McKee’s facility is a giant leap forward in breast screening science,” said Dr. Jean Paquelet, diagnostic radiology specialist. “Conventional screening mammography saves lives, but 3D mammography saves even more.”

Located in the Banner McKee Medical Pavilion at the south end of McKee Medical Center, the McKee Breast Center serves on average 35 to 40 women for screening mammograms, diagnostic breast exams and bone-density studies each day. 

3D Mammography (Digital Breast Tomosynthesis)
The two new low-dose 3D mammography units produce special images that allow radiologists to better view breast tissue by taking multiple images in just seconds.

During a 3D mammogram, multiple breast images are taken from different angles producing a series of one-millimeter thick slices that create a 3D image of the breast. This provides greater visibility for the radiologist to see breast detail, increasing the likelihood of spotting abnormalities and a greater confidence to rule out benign tumors as cancerous. 

  • 3D tomosynthesis images have been found to identify 40 percent more invasive cancers than 2D alone.
  • The Hologic 3D Mammography Imaging System improves the radiologist’s ability to view asymmetric densities, distortions and smaller masses, resulting in earlier diagnosis.
  • 3D Mammography has been shown to reduce false positives and the need for patients to undergo additional imaging by up to 40 percent.
  • The new system generates 2D images from the 3D data set, reducing the radiation dose for patients by eliminating the need for additional 2D exposures.

“By adding two units of DBT, McKee offers the best care to patients in our community and surrounding areas,” said Paquelet. “The technology is more sensitive, more specific and saves patients’ time, anxiety and expense.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the McKee Breast Center at (970) 203-6518.

About McKee Medical Center
McKee Medical Center, opened in 1976, is a fully accredited, private nonprofit facility in Loveland, Colo. McKee is owned by Banner Health, a nonprofit healthcare system with 29 hospitals in seven states. It offers emergency care, cancer care, heart care, orthopedics, inpatient and outpatient surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics, rehabilitation, intensive care, lab and medical imaging.