Wamego Health Center now offering 3D mammograms

Health Check

WAMEGO, Kan. (KSNT) – The FDA approved the use of 3D mammography in 2011. Many larger hospitals have had these machines for years, but they’re not always common in rural community hospitals.

In the past, women in Wamego, KS, had to travel to Manhattan or Topeka to get their 3D mammograms. But as of mid-February women can now get their 3D mammogram at the Wamego Health Center.

“It just makes it a lot easier having it here in town. Forty five minutes out of my day and I was done,” boasts Tara Smith, a patient at Wamego Health Center.

Since last May, the health center has been fundraising for their 3D mammography campaign to bring the equipment to Wamego.

“We have done several fundraisers along the way, and really provide the community with a lot of awareness on the benefits of 3D mammography. It allows the radiologist to detect breast cancer easier, faster, and therefore our patients are able to get treatment faster,” explains Tina Rockhold, the Development Director of the Wamego Health Foundation.

Emily Schrader, the Lead Radiology Technologist at Wamego Health Center goes on to say, “A 2D image is a flat image of a breast exam. The 3D technology you don’t just get one flat image, you get multiple layers of images. And so what that will do is decrease the time that a woman would have to come back if there was an abnormality found in the 2D mammogram.”

After just a few weeks of use, Wamego Health Center has given more than 55 women 3D mammograms with their new machine. And the women say, it’s making a big difference in their care.

“This time it was a little smoother. The machine moved more to me, so I didn’t have to move to the machine as much. It was smoother, more rounded edges, it just felt more comfortable,” says Deborah Swenson, a patient at Wamego Health Center.

Tara says, “I was able to see last year’s images vs. this year’s images, and just the difference in the images was amazing!”

Comparison of Tara Smith’s 2D and 3D Mammograms

Thankfully both Deborah and Tara had clear results after their recent mammograms!

The American Cancer Society has the following recommendations for mammograms:

  • Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.
  • Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening.
  • Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.
  • All women should be familiar with the known benefits, limitations, and potential harms linked to breast cancer screening. 

Women should also know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast changes to a health care provider right away.

Don’t miss the 16th Diamonds & Denim Dinner and Auction on Saturday, April 25, at The Columbian Theatre in Wamego, Kansas. The fundraising event showcases delicious food and drinks, live and silent auctions, and lots of fun with proceeds benefiting the 3D mammography equipment upgrade at Wamego Health Center. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour and silent auction. Dinner, program, live auction and more fun start at 6:30. Sponsorship opportunities and individual tickets are on sale now at wamegohealthcenter.org. Sponsor levels range from $250 to $1,500. Individual tickets are $50 per person.  For more information, contact Tina Rockhold, Wamego Hospital Foundation development director at 785-458-7380 or at tina.rockhold@ascension.org.

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