EMMC Announces New Technology to Detect and Diagnose Breast Cancer


More than 1100 Maine women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Fortunately, new technology that improves early detection and diagnosis gives women better odds of beating the disease. Today, Eastern Maine Medical Center announces the availability of 3D-guided breast biopsy, now offered at the State Street hospital campus, and the addition of 3D mammography, which will be available this summer.
A 3D-guided breast biopsy uses advanced x-ray technology to gather tissue samples from the breast after an abnormality is found during a mammogram. This minimally invasive procedure allows physicians to acquire very small samples deep inside breast tissue that may not be accessible by 2D-guided technology that has been the standard for many years. This new tool improves EMMC’s ability to provide a diagnosis in the least invasive manner possible.
“Early diagnosis is so important. We still do not know how to prevent breast cancer, so being able to identify the disease sooner helps provide our patients with more options for treatment,” says Elaine Chambers, RN, MS, nurse manager, EMMC Breast and Osteoporosis Center. “While some abnormalities are noncancerous, if cancer is found, we can begin treatment right away. Having this available provides peace of mind for our patients.”
While 3D-guided breast biopsy is an important tool in the fight against breast cancer, it is used only after an abnormality is detected with a mammogram. This summer, Eastern Maine Medical Center will begin offering 3D mammography, also known as known as breast tomosynthesis, to aid in the early detection of breast abnormalities. The 3D technology allows doctors to see through layers of tissue and is particularly beneficial for women who have dense breasts or documented abnormalities.
“This new technology will have real benefits for patients,” adds Elaine. “Doctors will be able to detect smaller abnormalities which could be missed with 2D mammography, especially in the 40 percent of our patients who have dense breasts. Eventually we will see fewer ‘call backs’ that result in additional testing. Call backs frequently cause anxiety for patients.”
Eastern Maine Medical Center will begin offering 3D mammography this summer at its hospital campus on State Street and at the EMMC Healthcare Mall on Union Street.