UP Health System Marquette unveils newest 3D mammography technology

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - UP Health System Marquette got some new technology in its cancer center a few days ago. They now have a new machine that’s changing the way doctors find and treat breast cancer.

They're now FDA approved to start using the GE Senographe Pristina - the newest advancement in 3D mammography.

"What we used to have, the digital mammogram, was a composite image of the breast. It would take two images of each breast, and so basically all the shadows and tissues would overlap on top of each other. 3D mammography is different. It's extremely sensitive, and much like the name says, it allows us to see the breast in thin layers. So the breast is layered in images from top to bottom, and so that way even if a woman has dense breast or some dense breast tissue overshadowing something, it allows us to see in front of that tissue, behind that tissue and it's extremely sensitive." says Dr. Heidi Henry, UP Health System Marquette Breast Imaging Radiologist.

According to Dr. Henry, this new imaging increases the detection of invasive breast cancer by 40 percent.

"One of our earliest patients, I looked at her regular 2D mammogram and to be honest i would have said it looked okay. And then when I scrolled through all of those images, you know each level with the 3D mammogram, her cancer popped out. It was right there," Dr. Henry recalls.

The GE Senographe Pristina was a $320,000 investment. UPHS Marquette is the second hospital in the Upper Peninsula with this technology, and the only one in the Marquette area. This, among other reasons, is why UPHS Marquette is considered a Center of Excellence for breast imaging by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.

"It's all about early detection, and this is early detection but even earlier," Dr. Henry says.

If you would like to get a mammogram, please contact your primary care physician to make an appointment. While a lot of insurance providers do cover 3D mammography, you will also need to check with your specific insurance carrier to see if it's covered.

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