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For Breast Cancer Screenings, Get the Total Picture

For Breast Cancer Screenings, Get the Total Picture

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Allegheny Health Network (AHN) offers 3D digital tomosynthesis mammography so women like Monica can find out that breast cancer is not in their immediate future. This advanced screening technology helps radiologists detect breast cancer at its earliest, most curable stages. 3D mammograms also help doctors more accurately tell the difference between harmless abnormalities and real cancers.

Patients with the courage to face the future are living proof that getting preventive care with the most advanced technology at AHN is the direct path to better health.

Making access easy at six AHN centers  

Breast tomosynthesis, an advanced technique to find breast cancer early, is available at six imaging centers in western Pennsylvania, making it convenient for patients to get this vital preventive screening.

Traditional mammography captures a single image of the breast, while 3D mammography:

  • Takes multiple images in “layers”
  • Allows doctors to see internal breast tissue in sharp detail
  • Minimizes false-positive and false-negative readings
  • Can be helpful for women who have dense breast tissue or are at high risk of developing breast cancer

Advanced techniques covered by health plans

In Pennsylvania, health plans must pay for 3D mammography, which makes it available to more women. 3D mammography:

  • Can be used along with, or in some cases, instead of traditional mammography
  • Delivers safe amounts of radiation, well below federal guidelines

Detecting breast cancer before symptoms appear

Breast cancer screenings are vitally important because:

  • Symptoms don’t typically appear until cancer has spread beyond the breast, when it is harder to treat
  • It is the second most common cancer in the U.S. with 200,000 women diagnosed each year

Medical experts explain

“The addition of three new breast tomosynthesis units marks a significant step forward in helping our clinicians detect breast cancer,” said David Parda, MD, chair, Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute. “At Allegheny Health Network, we provide our patients with the most effective ways to battle cancer from every possible angle, with innovative procedures, medicines and technology.”

How often are screenings needed?

According to the American Cancer Society:

  • Women age 40 to 44 should talk to their doctor about starting annual mammograms
  • Women between 45 and 54 should be screened each year
  • Women should do monthly, breast self-exams and tell their OB-GYN about any changes

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Doctors Involved

Hospital

Saint Vincent Hospital