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Wise Health features new tool in early detection

By Austin Jackson | Published Saturday, October 13, 2018
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MODERN MARVEL – Wise Health Imaging Center employees demonstrate the features of the Genius 3D Mammography machine. The machine has been proven to find 20-65 percent more invasive breast cancers and has reduced callbacks by 40 percent. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Half of the fight against breast cancer is catching signs of tumors early.

According to the American Cancer Society, if breast cancer is caught in stage 0 or 1, the five-year survival rate is 100 percent.

Thanks to donations to the Wise Health Foundation, women and men in Wise County have a new tool in their detection arsenal, centrally located in Decatur.

In April, the Wise Health Imaging Center in Decatur received The Genius 3D mammography machine, giving access to advanced three-dimensional mammographies to local patients.

The 3D mammograms have been proven to find 20 to 65 percent more invasive breast cancers and reduce callbacks by up to 40 percent, Wise Health Foundation Director Linda Johnson said.

Texas Radiology Associates and Wise Health Radiologist Dr. Vaibhav Khasgiwala said the technology gives him a valuable picture in the screening process.

“If you’re looking at a regular mammogram, it’s a two-dimensional picture,” Khasgiwala said. “You are left looking at two different views to try and triangulate where something is or whether something is real or not real.

“With the tomographic image, what it does is instead of taking a 2D picture, it rotates the X-ray over an arch to get a re-constructive 3D image that you can scroll through and actually see things as they move. It’s like a movie instead of a photograph.”

With one in eight women developing invasive breast cancer, Johnson said the Wise Heath Foundation felt bringing the technology into the Wise Health System was important.

So far it’s been effective in accurate detection, she said.

The machine provides images in 1-millimeter layers. Radiologists have been able to use this additional information to better locate and differentiate between what is a concern and what is benign.

“I’ve noticed a change in the numbers,” Johnson said. “We’ve reduced the amount of callbacks after screenings, which is great. Before, we were having to redirect people to a facility with 3D mammography because they needed that level of diagnostics. Now we have it here. I think it’s huge for the Wise community as a whole.”

According to a Wise Health press release, the advanced technology will not increase the price for mammograms and will be used for all mammogram patients, including Mary’s Gift recipients.

The Wise Health Foundation’s Mary’s Gift Program offers free mammograms to uninsured and underinsured patients in Wise County as one of its services.

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