In honor of breast cancer awareness month Dr. Joseph P. Finizio, Founder and Medical Director of Radiology Imaging Associates answers common questions about the new Lower Dose 3D Mammography and reminds women throughout Southern Maryland to discuss screening options with your doctor.
Q: RIA recently introduced Lower Dose 3D Mammography. What should patients know about this technology?
A: The statistics speak volumes for the benefits of this technology; 3D mammography detects up to 41% more invasive breast cancers than 2D mammography, and false-positive findings that resulted in call back visits are reduced by up to 40%. (Source Hologic)
Not only is 3D more accurate, the addition of the latest “Lower Dose” technology means the exam is provided without additional radiation exposure or compression time, making it the safest, most comfortable mammogram experience possible.
Q: What makes the 3D mammogram so much different?
A: While the patient experience is similar, the radiologist is provided some much more valuable information. We have gone from evaluating 4 images per patient to an average of 400 images per patient. These thin section images display breast tissue in multiple layers to help the radiologist make a more accurate diagnosis. In fact a recent study, found 3D mammography may detect cancer up to 15 months earlier than 2D mammography. (Source: Hologic)
Q: Who is a candidate for Lower Dose 3D Mammography?
A: Annual 3D Mammography is approved for all women who would normally undergo standard mammography.
Q: At what age should women start annual mammograms?
A: RIA recommends that women with no symptoms and no other risk factors should start annual mammography at age 40. Despite recent controversial guidance, the American Cancer Society still advises that annual mammograms, starting at age 40, save the most lives. That is because 1 in 6 breast cancers occur to women in the 40’s, and early detection greatly increases the patient’s chance for survival. Please be aware that most women with breast cancer do not have a first degree relative with the disease.
Q: RIA has always been a pioneer in women’s imaging. What has changed since you launched a dedicated breast imaging center 35 years ago in Clinton, only the 24th in the country at the time?
A: While mammography continues to be the cornerstone of our program, we offer many more complementary technologies now. For instance, Breast MRI has become invaluable for high risk screening, treatment planning and staging.
If a woman comes to RIA for a mammogram, we provide all of the additional testing she may need, nearby, in her community. Having these full service capabilities allows for continuity of care and a better patient experience.
Q: What should patients look for in a radiology program?
A: In addition to the latest technology, having experienced, on-site radiologists is imperative. RIA’s physicians reads 40,000 mammograms on an annual basis and they’re on-site everyday interacting with patients and available for real-time consultations with referring providers.
Accreditation by the American College of Radiology (ACR) is another important dimension of quality. RIA’s facilities are accredited by the ACR and have earned the designation as Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence for our comprehensive women’s imaging programs, which include lower dose 3D mammography, breast ultrasound, and MRI of the breast, plus breast biopsy with ultrasound, stereotactic or MRI guidance.
About Radiology Imaging Associates
Radiology Imaging Associates (RIA) was founded in 1977 by Joseph P. Finizio, MD, and grew from its origins as the first radiology service provider at Southern Maryland Hospital Center, to an expanding practice of 15 radiologists and 200 technologists and staff supporting five full-service outpatient imaging centers throughout southern Maryland and northern Virginia. Southern Maryland locations include: RIA at Pembrooke (Waldorf), RIA at Heritage (Clinton), The Breast Center (Clinton) and RIA at Patuxent (Prince Frederick, MD). Learn more at www.RIAssociates.com.