News and Information

August 13, 2013

Franciscan Introduces 3D Mammography Technology

Most advanced technology can increase early detection of breast cancer

Franciscan Health System introduces 3D mammography as part of their comprehensive and advanced breast care services for women in South Puget Sound. The new technology, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis (or tomo) improves the early detection of breast cancer by up to 30 percent according to several studies and reduces the need for additional breast screenings.

Traditional 2D digital mammography continues to be the standard of care for breast screenings. The new 3D mammography technology combines with conventional 2D mammography to provide an enhanced 3D image of the breast.

“3D mammography will soon become the standard of care for women in Pierce and South King counties, “said Khai Tran, MD, Medical Director at Carol Milgard Breast Center and Franciscan’s Women’s Health & Breast Center at St. Francis Hospital. “When a diagnosis is found with this advanced technology, Franciscan provides patients with a multi-disciplinary, patient-centered plan of care that’s close to home.”

The screening experience for women will be similar to what they’ve experienced in the past. During the 3D part of the exam, an x-ray arm sweeps over the breast, taking multiple images in seconds. There’s no additional compression and the extra imaging only takes a few more seconds.

“At Franciscan, we support the American Cancer Society’s recommendation that women 40 years and older should get a yearly screening mammogram and because we know that detecting cancer at an early stage saves lives,” said Kathy Bressler, Executive Leader for Franciscan Women’s & Children’s services. “We are working toward offering 3D tomo screenings throughout our system by 2014 to enhance the care we provide women in South Puget Sound.”

Digital breast tomosynthesis screenings will be available at the following Franciscan facilities:

Carol Milgard Breast Center, Tacoma
Contact: 253-759-2622
Currently Available

Franciscan Women’s Health & Breast Center, Federal Way
Contact: 253-944-4025
Currently Available

Franciscan Medical Pavilion, Bonney Lake
Contact: 253-573-7320
August 2013

Milgard Medical Pavilion at St. Anthony, Gig Harbor
Contact: 253-530-2655
Coming in 2014

St. Elizabeth Mammography, Enumclaw
Contact: 360-802-8570
Coming in 2014

Women do not need a written referral for a routine annual screening mammogram.

Franciscan Health System includes St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma, St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way, St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood, St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw, St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; Highline Medical Center, Burien; Franciscan Hospice House, University Place; Franciscan Medical Group clinics and providers in Pierce, King and Kitsap counties; and the Franciscan Foundation. Franciscan is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national non-profit health system with headquarters in Englewood, Colo. Currently, CHI ranks as the nation’s third-largest faith-based health system, with annual operating revenues of $10.7 billion and approximately 78,500 employees. In fiscal year 2012, CHI provided more than $715 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research.

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