JAMA study finds 3-D imaging more effective than standard mammograms. Swedish Covenant Hospital offers this service and other breast health screenings to thousands of north side women each year, despite ability to pay
CHICAGO (June25, 2014) A study released Tuesday
by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that breast-cancer screening with 3-D imaging finds more invasive cancers and yields fewer false alarms than standard digital mammograms alone. These findings are being backed by physicians at Swedish Covenant Hospital, one of the first hospitals in Chicago to offer the technology to its patients.
“Since we first started using 3-D mammography nearly 16 months ago, we have been able to identify cancers in several patients that would have likely gone undetected otherwise,” said Dr. Dorothy Lam, a radiologist at Swedish Covenant Hospital. “Tomosynthesis enables us to identify abnormalities earlier and more effectively.”
Swedish Covenant Hospital offers this life-saving screening to patients across the socioeconomic spectrum, regardless of whether they have health insurance or not. As part of its Community Breast Health Program, more than 3,400 underserved women are navigated annually through the full spectrum of breast cancer detection and treatment services. Approximately 1,000 receive cancer detection services free-of-charge, which can include 3-D mammography.
By navigating women through the entire screening and follow-up process, Swedish Covenant Hospital has reduced the percentage of women lost to follow-up after an abnormal mammogram for 21 percent in 2010 to four percent in 2013. The hospital has also reduced the length of time from breast cancer diagnosis to treatment from 32 to 24 days.