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February 2024

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Holy Cross Hospital’s New 3D Mammography Increases Early Detection

Does the idea of getting a mammogram make you cringe just a little bit? How about the idea of hearing a diagnosis from a medical professional that you, or someone you love, has breast cancer? Holy Cross Hospital, in Taos, knows how tough this is and their skilled and compassionate staff are there to make it easier for you. They know that mammograms are proven to save lives by offering the best chance for early detection of breast cancer. Now Holy Cross has a new state-of-the-art GeniusTM 3D MammographyTM machine that provides the most advanced and comfortable exams in northern New Mexico.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month; it is more than pink ribbons and professional football players wearing pink cleats and gloves, it’s a critical reminder that one woman in every eight will develope breast cancer in their lifetime. Even more astounding is that almost 90% of those women diagnosed with breast cancer have no previous family history of it.

This new 3D mammography machine detects 20 – 65% more invasive breast cancers and reduces call-backs by up to 40% compared to conventional 2D exams alone. The Holy Cross website reports that “More than 200 clinical studies have shown that by using this technology, doctors are able to screen for breast cancer with greater accuracy — which means bet-ter breast cancer detection and less need for additional screenings.”

The 3D exam is like a conventional 2D exam with breast compression, however, instead of several compressions to get the needed variety of views, the 3D X-ray arm moves in an arc over the breast, taking multiple “pictures” from different angles—with a single compression. The images are converted into a series of computer-generated “photos” that break down the views of the tissue into a multitude of layers, providing a more accurate assessment of the patient’s breast health. “So, instead of viewing all of the complexities of your breast tissue in a flat image, as with conventional 2D mammography, fine details are more visible and no longer hidden by the tissue above or below,” said Gayle Martinez, marketing manager for Holy Cross Hospital.

It is recommended that women 40 and older get a mammogram once a year, as endorsed by the American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging. Early detection saves lives, and with early detection, the breast cancer survival rate is nearly 100% at five years.

Does the idea of doing all you can to prevent breast cancer give you a sense of personal power? Schedule your annual mammogram today and encourage your family and friends to make an appointment, too. You may be saving your life, or the life of someone you love, during this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Ask your primary care physician for a referral to Holy Cross Hospital for a GeniusTM 3D MammographyTM exam. Con-tact the Holy Cross Imaging Department at (575) 737-3231 for more information or visit their website at https://holycrossmed-icalcenter.org/service/mammogram/.