LewisGale introduces valley’s first 3D mammography

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Darlene Scarborough, breast imaging supervisor, demonstrates the new technology. Photos by Kelsey Bartlett.
Darlene Scarborough, breast imaging supervisor, demonstrates the new technology. Photos by Kelsey Bartlett.
The Roanoke Valley’s first 3D mammography technology is now available at LewisGale Breast Center in Salem.

Before, patients who wanted to use the technology had to drive as far as Lynchburg and other surrounding areas to have the test.

“It’s an exciting location to introduce this technology, because LewisGale Breast Center in Salem is the only imaging center in southwest Virginia that is accredited by the American College of Radiology,” said Jon Bartlett, president of LewisGale Regional Health System, on Dec. 30. “Our healthcare system will also be the first to bring Genius 3D Mammography to women in the Roanoke Valley, thereby giving more women convenient access to advanced technology closer to home.”

The technology, also known as tomosynthesis, is no more invasive than a typical 2D mammogram, but detects 41 percent more invasive breast cancers, while reducing the need for unnecessary call backs by 40 percent.

On Dec. 30, LewisGale Regional Health System President John Bartlett, along with the entire breast imaging team, announced the breast center will begin utiliziling 3D mammography technology.
On Dec. 30, LewisGale Regional Health System President John Bartlett, along with the entire breast imaging team, announced the breast center will begin utiliziling 3D mammography technology.

Breast imaging supervisor Darlene Scarborough has worked at the LewisGale Breast Center since 2001, and has been involved with mammography since 1985. Scarborough knows better than anyone that technology is constantly changing, and with every change, brings the potential to save more lives.

“I’ve seen it evolve from film screen mammography, to digital mammography, and now 3D mammography,” Scarborough said. “I’ve seen it all.

Scarborough said for most women, the regular 2D mammogram is fine. But for women with dense breast tissue or a family history of breast cancer, the new technology is the solution to catching breast irregularities early.

“The patients are super excited,” Scarborough said. “They’ve been calling, and every time they come in, they’ve been asking about it.”

Scarborough said for her, the new technology is proof of LewisGale’s commitment to stay ahead of the game, putting the needs of patients first, and saving more lives in the process.

“I think the fact that we can actually offer something that is so important and new, and be able to give the solutions that we’re looking for, as well as be on the cutting edge of what is going on, is exciting,” she said. “We’re not lagging behind. We’re the first in the area to get it. We were the first to get digital, and now we’re going to be the first to go live with 3D.”

Radiologist Ronald Broadwell, M.D., agrees that the technology will be particularly beneficial for women with dense breast tissue.

Radiologist Ronald Broadwell, M.D, discusses the benefits of 3D mammography, compared to the typical 2D testing.
Radiologist Ronald Broadwell, M.D, discusses the benefits of 3D mammography, compared to the typical 2D testing.

“Genius 3D Mammography provides a more detailed view of the breast tissue, which can lead to early detection,” Broadwell said in a LewisGale press release. “We know that early detection helps us find cancers when there is the best chance for a cure.”

To learn more about the technology, visit www.genius3Dmammography.com. Patients can begin scheduling appointments now. The center will begin using the technology near the end of January. To make an appointment, call 540-776-4983.

“Our announcement today is truly about saving lives,” Bartlett said. “We see this as another tool in our fight against breast cancer, and evidence of our commitment to provide our patients with the best care possible.”