Breast Cancer is a terrible disease that everyone should take seriously. Because of extensive research and the efforts of many people, advances have been made so that if the cancer is detected early on, there is a strong likelihood of surviving breast cancer.

At Broward Health Coral Springs Women’s Center, upgrades have been made on all mammography equipment. The Center recently began using 3D technology known as tomography in addition to standard digital imaging for breast cancer detection.

“3D is considered experimental but it is accepted by many organizations,” said Amanda Rook, lead mammographer at Broward Health Coral Springs Women’s Center. “Where a standard mammogram is two dimensional with this new technology we have more data for the radiologist. The 3D mammography enables the radiologist to better visualize lesions that breast tissue might have obscured. The 3D mammography technology allows us to create 3D images which provide more information.”

With the 3D system, the technology does much of the work. A Hologic system is used and doctors receive 3D images with the same dose of radiation of traditional mammograms. “We gain all the benefits of an indepth mammogram,” said Rook.

Breast cancer is more common in women but it can affect men as well. There are newer tests and treatments coming along but there are things people can do to protect themselves. One way is to have regular mammograms. Women should get a mammogram every year starting as early as age 35 to 40 especially if there is a history in their family of breast cancer. It is also a good idea to get a clinical breast exam every year by a doctor. Women should also conduct self-breast exams and be aware of any changes in their breasts.

“There is a 95 survival rate from breast cancer if there is early detection,” said Rook. “The biggest thing is awareness and knowing how to do a self-breast exam. The earlier the detection, the better the survival rate. Women should stay on top of it and know what is happening with their breasts. They should check for lumps in their breasts.”