Dr. Autumn Shobe, a board-certified breast surgeon with Trident Health’s Breast Surgery Specialists, is meeting with Berkeley County residents this month at the Moncks Corner Medical Center to discuss the benefits of 3D mammography.
Community members are invited to talk with Shobe between 6 - 7 p.m. on Thursday as she gives a tour of the imaging department and provides information about the newest diagnostic technology available at the Moncks Corner Medical Center.
“3D mammogram is very helpful because it increases our cancer detection rate and decreases call back rates,” Shobe said. “As many people already know; early detection is crucial in treating breast cancer.”
For patients, the process of receiving a 3D mammogram is not different than that of a 2D mammogram. Shobe explained that for 3D mammograms, the machine rotates around the breast rather than the traditional two views. This new technology allows for a more detailed and precise image which helps doctors and radiologists properly diagnose.
Shobe said 3D mammography is especially helpful for patients with dense breast tissue.
“3D mammography filters through the breast in a different way and it therefore can pick up smaller cancers than with a standard 2D mammogram,” Shobe said.
The new technology also decreases the call back rates which is very important for patients, Shobe said.
In standard procedure when there is an abnormality detected in the breast, patients will get called back to do additional images and that can be very anxiety-provoking. However, 3D mammography is more accurate which reduces the likelihood of a patient being called back in for a closer look.
“If that woman has either had a family member with breast cancer or a friend with breast cancer, their mind immediately jumps to that,” Shobe said. “So if you can decrease the number of times they have to come back for additional views, I think it saves a lot of anxiety.”
Shobe said insurance companies have slowly caught up and most companies now cover 3D mammograms in the same way as the standard mammograms.
The addition of 3D mammography at Moncks Corner Medical Center is part of a $2 million investment in the technology by Trident Health, which includes Trident Medical Center, Summerville Medical Center, Moncks Corner Medical Center and Centre Pointe Emergency.
There are now five 3D mammography units available to women in the region; three units at Trident, one at Summerville Medical Center and one at Moncks Corner.
“We have the whole gamut here in terms of breast cancer care,” Shobe said. “We also have all those different aspects of breast cancer care including medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. We have the capability of genetic testing. We have a lot of different physicians here who treat breast cancer and we all work very well together; we all collaborate and discuss different patient cases on a weekly basis.”