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Now offering the latest in breast cancer screening technology: 3D Mammography

Available only at St. Agnes Hospital in Women's Imaging

3D mammography (tomosynthesis) is clinically proven to significantly increase the detection of breast cancers, while simultaneously decreasing the number of women asked to return for additional testing.

The limitation of digital mammography is that it creates a 2-dimensional picture of the breast, which is 3-dimensional. Glandular breast tissue located at different heights within the breast overlaps on 2D mammograms.

This overlapping tissue can hide breast cancers and may make normal tissue appear abnormal, leading to additional imaging. 3D mammography is an advanced technology in the fight against breast cancer that allows physicians to examine breast tissue one layer at a time. The imaging system uses high-powered computing to convert digital breast images into a stack of thin layers or “slices,” minimizing the negative effects of overlapping breast tissue and improving cancer detection.

Who can have a 3D mammography exam?

A 3D mammography exam is approved for all women who would undergo a standard mammogram. Multiple clinical studies show that all women, regardless of breast type or density, benefit from a 3D mammography exam.

What should I expect during your exam?

A 3D mammography exam is very similar to having a conventional 2D mammogram. Like a 2D mammogram, the technologist will position you, compress your breast and take images from different angles. There’s no additional compression required with the 3D mammography exam, and it only takes a few seconds longer for each view. The technologist will view the images of your breasts at the computer workstation to ensure quality images have been captured for review. A radiologist will then examine the images and report results to either your healthcare provider or directly to you.

Why choose a 3D mammography exam?

A 3D mammography exam detects 41 percent more invasive breast cancers and reduces false positives by up to 40 percent. This means one simple thing: more accuracy. The 3D mammography exam allows physicians to see masses and distortions associated with cancers significantly more clearly than conventional 2D mammography. Instead of viewing all of the complexities of your breast tissue in a flat image, as with conventional 2D mammography, fine details are more visible and no longer hidden by the tissue above or below.

Digital Mammography

Digital mammography units are available at Ripon Medical Center, St. Agnes Hospital and Waupun Memorial Hospital. While traditional film mammography is very good, digital mammography provides better and more detailed images for a significant number of women. The digital system also provides the largest field of view currently available, which can be extremely helpful for precision imaging of patients with diverse shapes and sizes.

The goal is to have mammography results to patients with in 24-hours of exam.

Stereotactic Biopsy

A stereotactic biopsy is used to take samples from a lump that cannot be felt during a breast exam, but can be seen on a mammogram or an ultrasound. Stereotactic biopsy finds the exact location of a breast lump or suspicious area by using a computer and mammogram results to create a 3-dimensional (3D) picture of the breast. A sample of tissue is removed with a needle that is guided to the right area using the 3D picture.

For more information on breast biopsy, visit our health library by clicking here.

What is the difference between a screening and a diagnostic mammogram?

A screening mammogram is your annual mammogram that is done every year. Sometimes, the radiologist may ask you to come back for follow-up images, called a diagnostic mammogram, to rule out an unclear area in the breast, or if there is a breast concern that needs to be evaluated.

Breast Health Coordinators

The words breast cancer can ignite a variety of emotions when a woman hears them from her healthcare provider. There are unanswered questions, unknown treatments and an uncertain future. But women facing a breast cancer diagnosis are able to find support and strength to help cope with this disease. Kay Groeschl, RN, and Stephanie Ditter, RN, serve as  breast health coordinators at St. Agnes Hospital. They work in conjunction with Patti Domask, RN, who serves patients of Ripon Medical Center and Waupun Memorial Hospital. 

Breast health coordinators work together with all providers so treatments are efficiently coordinated and minimize the stress to patient and family. They educate, facilitate, advocate and coordinate. But more than that, they go beyond the illness. These women are people women get to know, and they are with them every step of the way doing what they can.

The breast health coordinators help answer questions; accompany women on provider visits and during procedures; give updates; and provide comfort, empathy and compassion. 

Call one of our breast health coordinators in Fond du Lac at (920) 926-4116 or (920) 926-6547; or in Ripon or Waupun at (920) 324-6541.

Contact Us

For more information on our services, or to schedule an appointment, call:

Fond du Lac: (920) 926-5570

Ripon: (920) 745-3036

Waupun: (920) 324-6547


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