Local breast center turns to 3-D mammograms

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DENVER — The National Cancer Institute estimates that one in every eight women will develop breast cancer. Catching it early is the key to survival, and doctors now have an amazing new weapon.

St. Anthony’s Breast Center is one of the latest to use the new 3-D mammogram to screen patients for breast cancer.  It can zero-in on abnormalities in dense breast tissue, giving doctors a head start in treating the disease.

“It gives us a new opportunity to evaluate mammograms and the imaging is unbelievable,” said Dr. Ray Mencini, the center’s medical director.

The 3-D mammogram is especially useful in women who develop cancer cells that can be especially difficult to find.

“Before tissue would overlap, we now have the opportunity to separate the tissue out,” Dr. Mencini said.

The Breast Care Center is one of the first to be designed with a spa-like atmosphere. Patients enjoy warmed robes and a breast care navigator who walks them through the entire screening process.

Patients also have an opportunity to make weekend appointments.

The goal is to encourage more women to get mammograms.

New guidelines say women should have a mammogram every two years beginning at age 50 or younger if they have a history of breast cancer in their family or special health concerns.