3D technology saves Poulsbo woman’s life

Thanks to the introduction of three-dimensional mammography at CHI Franciscan in Burien, Diane Monroe, 65 of Poulsbo, was able to receive immediate treatment for her breast cancer.

Munroe has been an advocate for regular cancer screenings and had kept up with her regular mammograms since she was 40. In 2016 however, she put off her annual mammogram in order to have it done using the new 3D technology at the Franciscan Breast Center.

The screening found a small lump, but because it was detected so early and the tumor was so small, Munroe was able to have a lumpectomy and only underwent a month of radiation therapy.

“My advice to folks that are diagnosed, and even undiagnosed is to keep your health at the forefront of your mind. Be vigilant about your health and don’t skip screenings, do what you can to live a healthy lifestyle before, during and after treatment,” Munroe said.

3D mammographies also called digital breast tomosynthesis are the latest in screening and diagnostic imaging technology and has improved early detection of breast cancer in patients from 10 to 30 percent.

“The screening is very similar to traditional 2D screening, except it takes the 2D images and created a 3D image of the breast tissue, showing the layers of the breast, which allows us to view all the layers,” Surgical Oncologist Dr. Ani Fleisig said.

Breast cancer screenings are recommended for all women 50 years and older, though some health care providers may recommend getting screened earlier. 3D screenings are offered at the Harrison Imaging Centers in both Poulsbo and Silverdale.

“One common misconception that people have that keeps them from getting screened is genetics. They think that if they don’t have a family history of it they don’t have to worry about it. The truth is breast cancer is much more sporadic than it is genetic and can happen to anyone,” Dr. Fleisig noted.

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