3-D mammography comes to Bon Secours in Harbour View   

Published 8:47 pm Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Thanks to generous donations from our community to the Bon Secours Maryview Foundation, 3-D mammography is soon coming to the Millie Lancaster Women’s Center at Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, and one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her lifetime.

Community members and Bon Secours employees, including Dr. Mark Kerner, with Virginia Orthopedic and Spine Specialists, worked with the Bon Secours Maryview Foundation to raise the funds to expand mammography services.  The mammography room will be named in loving memory of Dr. Kerner’s wife, Dr. Anuradha Datyner Kerner, who lost her life to an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2009.

Western Hampton Roads, including Suffolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth, have a higher incidence rate and mortality rate of breast cancer than the national average, making the addition of 3-D mammography in the area essential to protecting the health of Hampton Roads women. According to an age-adjusted, five-year study (2006-2010) by the National Cancer Institute, the incident rate of breast cancer is 28 percent higher than the national average in Suffolk, 16 percent higher in Portsmouth and 38 percent higher in Chesapeake. The mortality rate is 34 percent higher in Suffolk, 41 percent higher in Portsmouth and 10 percent higher in Chesapeake.


Email newsletter signup

“In the fight against cancer, early detection is our most powerful weapon,” said Susan McKenzie, MD, board certified radiologist with Medical Center Radiology. “Mammography is the only proven breast cancer screening tool to reduce mortality. It is the gold standard in diagnosing cancer. Digital breast tomosynthesis, or 3-D mammography, is the latest innovation in breast cancer detection.”

3-D mammography allows doctors to examine breast tissue one layer at a time to inspect for any abnormalities in the tissue. During a 3-D mammogram, multiple images of the breast are acquired at different angles. Using high-powered computing, digital breast images are then converted into a stack of very thin layers or “slices.” These images can be viewed as a detailed 3-D reconstruction of the breast.

The $450,000 technology has proven its worth in helping prevent breast cancer. 3-D mammography when combined with conventional 2-D mammography has a 40 percent higher detection rate of invasive cancer than conventional 2-D mammography alone, helping doctors diagnose cancer at an earlier stage. When caught early, five-year survival rates for breast cancer are as high as 98 percent.

In addition to providing 3-D mammography, Bon Secours has received generous grant funding from local agencies like the American Cancer Society and the Tidewater Affiliate of Susan G. Komen to enhance breast cancer education about the benefits of early detection and provide free mammograms for women without insurance coverage. Bon Secours is committed to providing these services in order to improve the health and health education of the communities they serve.

The 3-D mammography program begins in late February. To schedule a 3-D mammogram at the Millie Lancaster Women’s Center in Suffolk, call 398-2316.