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Northeast Montana Health Services
Charitable Foundation
Accomplishments & News
2020 Project 

3D Hologic Mammography machine that will be located 
at NEMHS Trinity hospital radiology department. 

 A 3D mammogram is an imaging test that combines multiple  X-rays 
to create a three-dimensional picture that radiologists
 can rotate, spin and scroll through.

NEMHS Trinity Hospital is in the process of purchasing a technology that increases the detection rate of breast cancer. It will be the state of the art Hologic 3D Mammography™ technology, called Selenia Dimensions and will have straight and curved paddles. 

A 3D mammogram (breast tomosynthesis) is an imaging test that combines multiple breast X-rays to create a three-dimensional picture of the breast that radiologists can rotate, spin and scroll through. 

One in every eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer yearly. With early detection, through mammograms and self-exams, the disease is highly treatable. The American Cancer Society states that in the state of Montana there will be an estimate of 960 new cases of Breast cancer in 2020. 

NEMHS Trinity hospital houses the mammography machine in their Radiology department. Looking at the last five year totals of mammogram’s accomplished, NEMHS averages around 503 preventative mammograms a year. 

Since the FDA approval of 3D mammography in 2011, breast cancer mortality rates in the U.S. have dropped by 10 percent due to advancements in both screening and treatment. A 3D mammogram is used to look for breast cancer in people who have no signs or symptoms. It can also be used to investigate the cause of breast problems, such as a breast mass, pain and suspicious lumps or thickening. 

NEMHS needs to replace their 2-D machine, which is from 2009. The change also coincided with new mammography regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The biggest difference between the 2-D and 3-D machines is that the 2-D scan was just a static image. The 3-D model allows radiologists to scroll behind ducts and blood vessels to look at little lesions and nodules.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, though, has changed policies around mammograms, according to a FDA news release. It is the first time in over 20 years that the FDA has changed rules for mammograms.

The amendments require health professionals to report breast density as part of a mammogram, according to the news release. Women with higher breast density can have an increased risk of breast cancer.

NEMHS’s 3-D mammography machine automatically calculates breast density, an improved breast cancer detection in dense breast tissue. A 3D mammogram offers advantages in detecting breast cancer in people with dense breast tissue because the 3D image allows doctors to see beyond areas of density.

The exact timing of the new machine is unknown since the Covid-19 pandemic has taken place. NEMHS Charitable Foundation will update going forward.