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Special to the Illinois Business Journal
    
    BELLEVILLE – HSHS St. Elizabeth Hospital says detection rates of breast cancer are greatly increased with use of the new 3-D mammograms.
    The hospital invested more than $400,000 to expand the current mammography services with advanced 3-D. The equipment was installed in November and is now available to patients.
    The state-of-the-art technology allows St. Elizabeth’s Hospital to offer 3-D mammograms, as a complement to the current 2-D services, for patients meeting certain criteria including those who have a strong family history of breast cancer, and patients with dense breast tissue.
    “The positive impact of this technology on our patients’ lives was apparent from the first day the new 3-D mammography was utilized,” said Dr. Gregory Holdener, vice president of Radiology Consultants of Mid-America, P.C. “The 3-D image details offer a clearer overall view of the breast tissue.”
    On average, St. Elizabeth’s said, 3-D mammograms:
    - have the ability to detect 40 percent more cancers than 2-D mammograms
    - offer 29 percent improvement in overall cancer detection rates
    - reduce false positives up to 40 percent
    - allow the radiologist to see masses and distortions associated with cancers significantly more clearly than conventional 2-D
    - reduce the need for additional imaging in order to better visualize tissue up to 40 percent, compared to 2-D mammography
    - take less time, with a rapid scan time of under four seconds total, which helps to improve patient comfort and lessens the risk of motion.
    “We are very pleased to now offer this advanced technology and to our patients,” said Jackie Ellis, lead mammographer at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. “In addition to providing clearer images for our radiologists, patients who meet criteria for the 3-D mammogram, will find that the advanced mammograms are faster than the current 2-D screenings, and the paddles are designed for increased comfort.”
    The Food and Drug Administration approved 3-D mammography to be used with standard mammography in 2011, but not all insurance providers cover the procedure.
    Patients considering 3-D mammography should check with their insurance provider regarding coverage. Patients whose insurance does not cover the procedure should be prepared to pay out of pocket.
    A physician referral is not required. For more information about Mammography Services at St. Elizabeth’s, visit  www.steliz.org.