3-D mammography now offered at Olympic Medical Center

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Olympic Medical Center has launched a 3-D mammography system that can detect breast cancer earlier than its two-dimensional predecessors.

OMC purchased three Hologic 3-D mammography tomosynthesis machines in December for diagnostic mammography and screenings at multiple campus sites.

The $1.4 million equipment is now up and running at the OMC hospital and imaging center in Port Angeles and Medical Services Building in Sequim.

“With early detection, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent,” said Tiffany Lambert, OMC women’s imaging supervisor, in a Wednesday briefing to the hospital board.

“It’s been proven that with this new technology, we’re able to provide that to women.”

Tomosynthesis allows a radiologist to scan through tissue layers to see underlying masses, interim Director of Diagnostic Imaging John Troglia has said.

The 3-D units have a tube that arcs around the breast to produce images in 1-millimeter layers.

Increase in detection

“It’s been shown that the 3-D tomo has an increase of 40 percent detection in invasive breast cancer and a 20 percent increase in breast cancer detection overall,” Lambert said.

The 3-D system reduces the need for call-back imaging by about 40 percent and “increases the radiologists’ confidence in the diagnosis,” she added.

The state-of-the-art equipment was purchased through a $20 million loan that OMC secured in November for campus expansion projects and new medical equipment.

The old mammography units were traded in.

Only five hospitals in the state had 3-D tomosynthesis in 2012, compared with about three dozen now.

“We want to keep our local women here, and we want to be able to provide all the services they could get somewhere else,” Lambert said.

“By bringing this service in, we’ve been able to do that.”

The technology has enabled OMC to coordinate ultrasound and mammography procedures.

“If someone comes in and has a diagnostic mammogram and they have an ultrasound that’s needed, then it’s done at the same time to save the patient back-and-forth time,” said Lambert.

She added: “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from our new equipment.”

Diagnostic mammography and stereotactic biopsies are offered at the Port Angeles hospital, 939 E. Caroline St.

Where to go

Diagnostic mammography and screenings are available at the Sequim Medical Services Building, 840 N. Fifth Ave.

Screenings are also available at the Olympic Medical Imaging Center, 1102 E. Front St., Port Angeles.

To schedule an appointment, phone 360-565-9003.

For more information on OMC services, visit www.olympicmedical.org.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 20. 2014 5:32PM
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