February is the month of love but it is also a time where you should be aware of your health, especially women. Passavant Area Hospital’s Amanda Vortman joined our WLDS “AM conversation” earlier this week to discuss mammography and how women’s health awareness should not just be seasonal.
“Our whole goal here is to just continue the awareness for women to know to make sure they stay on top of their health and having an exam that takes about 30 minutes can really help save their life through out the entire year.” said Vortman. “A lot of women take care of other people or other priorities, their health and the appointments that they have usually go on the back burner. So we really just want to stay focused on taking care of themselves and by these exams that don’t really take very long can really prolong their life to continue to take care people who they have in their families.”
There are two kinds of mammograms, you can have the traditional 2D or the new 3D mammogram. Vortman explains how often someone should get checked.
“The regulations that we follow is that after the age of 40 you are are to have them every year. There are other things that fall into that, family history or personal history of different types of things, you may need to start your exams sooner than that. However talking with your doctor, may lead you down the path that you need to be on.” said Vortman.
The 3D exam tends to take about 15 minutes and will will not take any longer than a traditional scan. Vortman explains the difference between a 2D and a 3D mammogram.
“3D is where we take the same four images in the 2D mammogram that we had in the past, however with the 3D it now takes millimeter slices of the breast and it can give sharper images and helps us find things earlier. It can help the early detection by 40% and by finding early breast cancer, it helps with the 98% survival rate. With the 2D you only get on image per exposure that we take. With the 3D you get about 60 images to the one you had before.” said Vortman.
The 3D mammogram will help women who have more of a denser breast tissue. However, some insurance companies may not pay for the 3D exam. You may have to pay an extra $140 for the procedure. Anyone who has a mammogram will receive the results in the mail.