Omahan's cancer is caught early by new mammogram

Article Date: Jun 10, 2013

3d Mammogram at Alegent Creighton Health

BY BOB GLISSMANN, Omaha World-Herald

The bad news for Sandra Sojka: Her mammogram detected breast cancer. The good news for Sandra Sojka: Her mammogram detected breast cancer. A suspicious spot that showed up during a routine 2-D mammogram in March led a radiologist to order a newly available 3-D mammogram for Sojka, 54. That test enabled the radiologist to rule out the spot that initially raised a concern. But it revealed another small problem area in Sojka’s right breast. Sojka then had an ultrasound, an MRI and biopsies that confirmed that two spots were early-stage cancers.

Sojka was screened at Lakeside Hospi­tal, the first hospital in the Omaha area to employ the 3-D technology. A University of Iowa researcher who helped on an early clinical trial of the technology said she thinks it will become the standard — if insurance questions can be resolved.

For Sojka, access to the 3-D test meant that she had not escaped the diagnosis she had been dreading since she was a young woman (her mother developed breast cancer in her 40s and again in her 70s). "I didn’t get through life without it."

"But then, on the other hand," she said, "without the 3-D tomography, I might be dead in a year. You have to put it in perspective."

The 3-D screening, also called digital breast tomosynthesis, has been shown in recent studies to detect more cancers than do 2-D mammograms alone. It also generates fewer false-positive results, which usually require additional screenings. Dr. Katie Mendlick, who ordered the 3-D mammogram for Sojka, said she’s convinced that it’s "a great test."

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