3D technology at local hospitals helping detect cancer in women

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) -- A study from last October shows 3D mammography detects 34 percent more cancers compared to a traditional mammogram. Local hospitals tell KBTX dozens of women are reaping the benefits of the machines in the Brazos Valley.

For women over 40, breast cancer screenings are part of their annual checkup.

"I've have gone through this before. I've gone through my regular mammogram, an ultra sound. For me, it was no big deal," Elizabeth Longoria said.

But for Longoria, this time was a big deal. Doctors found cancer, and Longoria needed surgery and treatment right away.

"I was afraid of the unknown, and at the same time, I knew I needed to keep on going because you just don't know," Longoria said.

Longoria underwent four chemotherapy treatments and then radiation for six weeks.

"I cannot believe what I went through. It's like a dream, like an off-dream," Longoria said.

It’s been 17 months since Elizabeth’s last operation, but she still goes to the hospital for checkups every three months.

In January, Baylor Scott and & White rolled out a 3D mammography machine. They join CHI St. Joseph and College Station Medical Center in offering the the tool for screening and diagnostic breast imaging.

"It allows our technologists to take multiple pictures at different angles. Then the computer will compress and process these images, and it creates a 3D image," said Lauren Rice with Baylor Scott & White.

Doctors say it improves access to advanced imaging technology for breast cancer detection.

"3D mammography is helpful in differentiating over-lapping tissue against a breast tumor," Rice continued. "It can reduce our patients from having to be called back I for additional testing, because the doctor can look at it a little more thoroughly."

Today, Longoria is cancer-free, and she's thankful new technology can help keep her that way.

"Always think it could come back, but don't live for that, live for today, and continue to take one day at a time," Longoria said.

Since adding this machine to the hospital in January, Baylor Scott & White says it's already caught cancer for two patients. CHI St. Joseph has had the machine since December 2017, and just under 100 patients were diagnosed with breast cancer via mammography/imaging in 2018.

College Station Medical Center says it has had it since 2015, and it has detected about 15% of early detection of a true cancer.