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3D Mammography Available in Newburyport, Haverhill and Amesbury

More Accurate. Earlier Detection. Fewer False Alarms.

Anna Jaques Hospital now offers 3D mammography, the latest and most advanced technology in breast cancer screenings and detection. 3D mammography is the biggest breakthrough in breast cancer detection in 30 years because it provides clinicians with a level of clarity proven to improve accuracy and reduce call-backs and biopsies.

Anna Jaques recently invested $1.5 million to bring 3D mammography to our Newburyport, Amesbury and Haverhill locations, providing the most accurate mammogram to the communities we serve. Through the generosity and commitment of the Institution for Savings, a $500,000 donation has been given to Anna Jaques toward the purchase of these three machines.

The Power and Promise of 3D Mammography

Several large studies have shown that 3D mammography, also known as tomosynthesis, detects 41% more invasive breast cancers which is 1-2 more cancers caught per 1,000 tests. It was also shown to reduce the chance that a patient will need to be called back for additional views by 15%. This increased accuracy means detecting cancer earlier with fewer false alarms, and fewer biopsies.

3D mammography produces thin slices of the breast, taking up to 180 pictures of a breast in about the same time it takes 2D to take four pictures. This allows the radiologist to view breast tissue one thin slice at a time, almost like turning pages in a book, which helps them make a more accurate diagnosis. All patients will be offered 3D mammography for screening and diagnostic exams regardless of age or breast type. Initial screening results are provided within two business days.

Preparing for Your Mammogram

The Gerrish Breast Care Center performs about 14,000 mammograms each year. Knowing what to expect can help ease any stress you might feel about your breast cancer screening.

In Advance of Your Appointment

  • Let us know if you have excessive breast tenderness.
  • Let us know if you are, or may be, pregnant.

On the Day of Your Appointment

  • Do not apply anything to the skin on or around your breasts. This includes antiperspirant/deodorant, perfume and body lotion.
  • Bring your current insurance information with you and be prepared to fill out a personal and family history form, including family history of cancer and personal history of cancer screening and treatment if relevant.
  • Please allow 45 minutes for your appointment.

Breast Density Assessments

A radiologist will also review your mammogram to see if you have “dense breasts.” This means you have more glandular than fatty tissue on your mammogram. Dense breast tissue is a normal finding and seen in 50% of women. Your mammography report will include information about your breast density.

Dense breast tissue can make it harder to find cancer on a mammogram, and may increase your cancer risk. This is why it is important for you to know if you have dense breasts and talk to you doctor about your own risks for breast cancer, which include your family history. At that time, ask your doctor if more screening tests may be useful, based on your risk. Since most insurance carriers do not pay for additional testing based on breast density alone, a discussion with your doctor of your overall breast cancer risk is important.

To learn more about breast density, visit the American College of Radiology website.