Gonzales offers advanced 3-D mammography

Gonzales Healthcare Systems recently announced the addition of 3-D mammography at the Jane Johnson Women's Center in Gonzales.

Gonzales Healthcare Systems is one of the first rural centers to offer 3-D mammography for breast cancer screening, according to a news release.

More than 8,000 breast cancer screening sites exist in the U.S. and nearly 5,000 have at least one digital mammography system. Fewer than 100 sites have the newest generation of digital 3-D mammography equipment, according to the news release.

The 3-D mammography gives radiologists the ability to identify and characterize individual breast structures without the confusion of overlapping tissue.

Radiologists can see breast tissue better and rule out abnormalities that look suspicious in 2-D, so patients do not have to return for additional imaging or unnecessary biopsies. The radiologist can see the exact size and shape of a lump or tumor.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer, according to the release. Statistics indicate that one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her lifetime.

The stage at which breast cancer is detected influences a woman's chance of survival. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 89 percent.

Gonzales Healthcare Systems is working to increase the number of area women who are routinely screened for breast cancer.