Low dose 3D mammogram can detect breast cancer sooner - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Low dose 3D mammogram can detect breast cancer sooner

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One in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer -- a frightening fact. But now, at least, finding breast cancers sooner just got a little easier and safer.

"I get screened twice a year, as of next month, a five year cancer survivor," says Jenna Mann, breast cancer survivor.

A standard mammogram couldn't detect Jenna Mann's breast cancer in the early stages.

"My tumor was the size of the end of my thumb."

But if she had access to this machine earlier, things would have been different.

"Knowing now that if that technology had been available five years ago, my cancer probably would have been found four months before it was palpable."

This machine -- called 3D Low Dose Mammography -- is a recent arrival at John C. Lincoln Hospital in Phoenix.

"We now have the first in Arizona 3D Low Dose Mammography which actually cuts the radiation dose by half," says Sherry Gage, director of JCL Breast Health Centers.

It requires less compression time and reduces the radiation exposure for women get checked for breast cancer. Sherry Gage, director of the hospital's Breast Health Center, says so far so good.

"Over 70 women we found with breast cancer that was not seen in their regular digital mammogram but could clearly be seen in the 3D because we are removing the distortion of overlapping tissue -- looking at one millimeter layers."

Now, it's easier for cancer survivors like Jenna Mann to check for a relapse.

"To make sure nothing has recurred for me I get the 3D mammogram," says Mann.

And every woman at risk has little reason not to get checked.

"I would tell almost any woman its five minutes of discomfort that can save your life."

About 40,000 women die in the U.S. every year from breast cancer. But in 2011, there were more than two and a half million breast cancer survivors.

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