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NorthShore Health Center of Hammond Offers 3-D Mammography


Imagine a mammogram that provides a clearer, more comprehensive image, thereby detecting cancer earlier on, reducing the chance of a false positive, and decreasing anxiety. NorthShore Health Center of Hammond now offers a mammogram like so. As of this year, the site is equipped with the technology to perform digital Tomosynthesis; simply put, three-dimensional mammography.

3D mammography is FDA-approved and makes for the latest and most accurate technology in the world for finding invasive cancers of the breast. According to Dr. Sara Torabi, Radiation Safety Officer at NorthShore Health Centers, 3D mammography is the clinically superior breast screening, and she encourages all women to take advantage of this technology.

“So far, [3D mammography] is the best tool to detect breast cancer,” Dr. Torabi said. “Maybe ten years in the future, there will be something else, but at the present time, this is top of the line in the world.”

Dr. Torabi explained some of the reasons that 3D mammography is superior to traditional mammography. A traditional mammogram provides a two-dimensional image of each breast. A 3D mammogram, on the other hand, creates images of the breast tissue in multiple sections; a special tube rotates around the breast, scanning each contour and capturing different angles. The resulting images are clearer, more comprehensive, and may make findings easier in the case of problematic breast abnormalities. These advantages have increased the detection of invasive cancer by 41 percent and have also reduced the call back rate by 30 percent.

“With earlier detection, clearer results, and fewer unnecessary biopsies, 3D mammography reduces the amount of anxiety for the patient, causes less of a financial burden, and leads to more comfort and confidence,” Dr. Torabi explained.

A patient’s quality of life is very important to Dr. Torabi and the rest of NorthShore’s staff, not only in terms of their measures to help monitor one’s health, but also in their measures to maintain a patient’s health and tend to her comfort level during procedures. Another reason Dr. Torabi advocates for the 3D mammography performed at the Hammond NorthShore Health Center is due to the low amount of radiation used in the process.

“Not all tomosynthesis sites use the special software that NorthShore Hammond does,” Dr. Torabi explained. “This software can assure the best quality of images with the least amount of radiation. Without this software, you still can perform a 3D mammogram, but you have to give the patient almost twice the dose of radiation in order to get the same clarity of images.”

Dr. Torabi stressed the benefit of not having to expose patients to unnecessary radiation exposure and still being able to accelerate efficiency with the procedure. She also assured that the process is quick and causes little to no discomfort. “Something that women usually have a fear of is compression, and because the scanning time is extremely minimal, and because this system automatically releases after the fast, efficient imaging, that anxiety will be reduced,” Dr. Torabi explained. “We can accommodate patients of all breast sizes, too, which is something else that patients usually fear.”

With Hammond NorthShore Center’s system, the scan time is 3.7 seconds for each breast. While each breast is compressed, the brevity of the scan lowers the risk of patient movement, decreases the risk of retake, and increases the patient’s level of comfort.

Dr. Torabi wanted to make sure women know the impact breast cancer has on the Region and how dire it is that women in the Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland area receive mammograms.

“The rate of breast cancer is high in our area, and statistics show that 26 percent of females in Indiana over the age of 40 have not received a mammogram in at least two years,” Dr. Torabi said. “The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer among females is 1 in 8. That’s why it’s very important to go through screenings and discuss this with your healthcare providers to try and decide when to get them done.”

Dr. Torabi also stressed that, while excellent technology and equipment is crucial to the health of patients, a stellar medical team is just as imperative. NorthShore Health Center’s breast imaging and diagnostic team includes certified mammography technicians, as well as an experienced radiologist who is a dedicated breast imaging specialist—a rarity in this area.

“Technology is important in breast cancer detection, but at the same time we also want to ensure women of the community that we have a qualified staff, a great quality assurance program, a radiation safety program, and a very important patient follow-up system,” Dr. Torabi said. “We really care about the quality and that makes the difference. We don’t just do a mammogram and send the patient off: we follow up and make sure they are being taken care of all the way down the road.”

NorthShore Health Center of Hammond offers many specials on screening and mammography throughout the year and accepts the majority of insurance plans.

“Finance should not be something that holds any woman back in our society,” Dr. Torabi stressed. “We here at NorthShore Health Centers are committed to offering the best quality of service to patients of all ages, regardless of their background, race, or income,” Dr. Torabi said.”

To schedule an appointment, call Hammond NorthShore Center’s receptionist at 219-763-8112 (extension 1915 for the mammography specialist) to discuss options.

NorthShore Health Centers
6450 US Highway 6
Portage, IN 46368
(219) - 763 - 8112
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