UNDATED (WJRT) -
(06/02/14) - Experts agree - the key to successfully fighting breast cancer is early detection. A new technology is available that can provide doctors a more detailed image.
Some call the machine a game-changer in breast cancer detection.
Doctor Ronald Prati says tomosynthesis, or 3D mammograms, doubles the cancer detection rate and decreases callbacks for additional testing. The machine images multiple layers of the breast.
"It's the difference between trying to look through a loaf of bread verses pulling out individual slices and looking at them," Prati said.
Shelby Coriaty wishes the technology had been available years ago. It could have changed her life.
"I went for my very first mammogram and actually got a clean bill of health. So I went on my way thinking, alright, I've done all those things I'm supposed to do and about 3 months after that, I actually had an itch in my armpit and I felt a golf ball," Coriaty said.
Coriaty had breast cancer. Eighteen surgeries later, she encourages other women, like Amy Janes, to get annual screenings. Janes was one of the first to try tomosynthesis.
"It really wasn't any different other than you notice the machine move slightly, unlike the 2D mammogram is stationary," Janes said.
With 3D in the mix, the fight against breast cancer is magnified.
Doctors say the 3D images can be beneficial for young women who have dense breast tissue, which is sometimes more difficult to screen.
However, insurance companies do not cover tomosynthesis until January 2015. Check with your hospital or insurance companies before undergoing the test.