All NMHS hospitals get new 3-D mammography machines to detect breast cancer earlier and more often

AMORY, Miss. (WCBI) – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and on Monday, North Mississippi Health Services announced that all of its community hospitals are now equipped with 3-D mammography machines.

The 3-D machines perform a 50-degree sweep of the body, taking images at multiple levels.

“With the 2-D (mammogram), you get one image of the breast,” says Brandy Haney, the lead mammographer at North Mississippi Medical Center Gilmore-Amory. “With the 3-D, while you’re compressed, this part of the machine is going to move slightly (one) way and then it will slowly go back the other way and it’s taking (photos of) slices throughout the breast. It gives the radiologists more to look at, so they can catch things sooner.”

Technicians at NMMC Gilmore-Amory demonstrated how the machines work using an apple.

“3-D is really good for the denser breast tissue, because it’s able to see through that a little bit better and that way they can catch things a little bit sooner,” Haney says.

The new machines are 43.5 percent more likely to detect cancer than a 2-D machine and use 30 percent less radiation.

“When you catch (cancer) earlier, the chances of saving that life increase astronomically,” says Cathy Mitchell, Chief Operating Officer and chief nursing officer for NMMC Gilmore-Amory.

That precision also reduces the need for follow-up appointments.

“It’s cutting down on that anxiety, so people are able to have definitive results after one visit, versus maybe having to come back and have additional imaging done,” says Kyle Reeves, director of radiology for NMMC Gilmore-Amory.

Previously, the 3-D machines were only available at the NMMC hospitals in Tupelo and West Point. Now, they can be found in Amory, Eupora, Iuka and Pontotoc.

“The things that we have here in Monroe County, right here at your fingertips, are going to be as good as any place that you can get in the larger metropolitan areas,” Mitchell says.

Women over age 40 are encouraged to have a screening mammogram every year.

“A woman wouldn’t be asked to go have a mammogram every year if that mammogram wasn’t a lifesaver in early detection of that breast cancer,” says Mitchell.

For information on how to schedule a 3-D screening, call 662-377-6655 or click here. 

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