New dimensions of breast cancer detection at Crestwood - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

New dimensions of breast cancer detection at Crestwood

New mammography technology helps achieve better accuracy in cancer detection. (Source: WAFF) New mammography technology helps achieve better accuracy in cancer detection. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

"I was diagnosed on September 27th, 2013," breast cancer patient Tish Pegues, said. 

Pegues recalled the shock when she was diagnosed. "I went in for a routine mammogram. I had no indication of any kind that I was sick. And I almost didn't come for my mammogram. I nearly put it off because I was busy."

With no family history, she was considered low risk. "Then I found out after I got cancer that about 50 percent of those detected are not hereditary." She says she had chemotherapy, radiation and more. "I'm finishing with all of my treatments July 6."

Now, something new at Crestwood. New imaging will give doctors a clearer picture. "Those images are actually made from this machine for a mammogram. One thing that does not change is the compression. That compression will remain the same with this new technology," explained Dr. Gregory Gum.

That also adds a depth component for better accuracy. 

MORE: Mammography advances at Huntsville, Madison Hospitals

Radiologist Dr. Gregory Gum says it's a wonderful advancement. 

"We'll be able to acquire images and then go back to a workstation and look at very small levels of depth throughout the whole breast and that will enable us to find smaller lesions on the conventional 2-D mammogram. Also, it helps us discern tissue overlapping densities that aren't real lesions that mascarade as cancer."

He says that tissue overlap has been problematic for years. "With the 3-D we can find smaller lesions. And the earlier the lesion is found, the smaller it is, the better the prognosis, the earlier the stage and we can intervene with surgeries and the other therapies to get a patient a better prognosis."

And that sounds great to patients like Pegues. "I'm so impressed with that opportunity for early detection because again, that's the key to survival."

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