If you're a woman at risk of having breast cancer, there is a new technology available in the Magic Valley. It's 3D mammography and it could potentially save your life.

Shellie Amundson of North Canyon Medical Center in Gooding explained more about 3D mammography and why it's so much better than traditional 2D testing.

Shellie - "Well, to start with, when we talk about 3D mammography, first of all it's important to understand what we've had in the past which is 2D mammography. 2D mammography is taking a 2-dimensional image of a 3-dimensional item, which is the breast tissue...as we compress the breast tissue, it's like taking a loaf of bread and putting a BB in the middle of it and smashing it and then you're trying to find that little BB in that smashed loaf of bread. With traditional 2D mammography, there are about 20% of the breast cancers that are missed."

How does 3D mammography make such a difference when the test looks the same? Shellie explained.

Shellie - "To do that, we still compress the breast tissue exactly like we do in 2D mammography. But, instead of just taking one flat image, the machine arcs around the breast tissue...we are able to look at a slice-by-slice of the breast tissue."

Shellie also described how 2D mammography can sometimes lead to more false positives and indicate a breast cancer that really isn't there after further testing is done.

The good news for women in the Magic Valley is 3D mammography is now available at North Canyon Medical Center. For a test, all you need to do is call 208-934-4433 and schedule a test. Grants are available if you have financial needs. This is the one test that shouldn't wait if you're a woman at risk. 

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