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News A New Dimension in Breast Care

A New Dimension in Breast Care

​Mt. Vernon, IL -  Nearly 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. Early detection and advanced treatments are key in helping save more lives than ever before. St. Mary’s Hospital - Centralia and Good Samaritan Hospital - Mt. Vernon, an accredited Breast Center of Excellence, provide a powerful combination of breast care resources and expertise for women in Southern Illinois. 

The latest advance in the field of mammography imaging is the 3D mammography, also known as breast tomosynthesis. This revolutionary process allows the physician to better distinguish masses or tissues that might be cancerous from healthy breast tissue. 

3D mammography is more accurate in detecting breast cancers early, and is particularly useful for screening women with dense breast tissue. A 3D mammogram moves in an arc across the breast and images thin slices from many different angles, which differs from traditional 2D mammography machines which only capture two angles. This limitation can make it difficult to determine the differences between cancerous tissue and benign dense breast tissue. A 3D mammogram allows the radiologist to examine the tissue one thin layer at a time. Fine details are more visible and are less likely to be hidden by overlapping tissue, therefore increasing the ability for early detection.  

“The definition in 3D mammography has helped us reduce the number of “call backs” – that is when we call a patient back for additional mammograms because of something “suspicious” in the images,” states Dr. Ryan Willis.  “For the patient this can lead to anxiety, stress, and the possibility of additional tests.”  Willis, the Physician Director of Breast Imaging, oversees the radiology team serving both St. Mary’s Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital, and he is a Southern Illinois native. His high quality training is from Mayo Clinic, a premier institution which has the highest volume of radiology cases in the US. The depth and breadth of his experience is invaluable to their team.    

3D mammography is available at both Good Samaritan Hospital Mt. Vernon and St. Mary’s Hospital Centralia, and offers a way to reduce the stress and anxiety that can come with a mammogram.  The Breast Health program includes many services, such as 3D mammography, breast ultrasound, stereotactic biopsy, MRI breast imaging, cancer treatments and surgery, Mayo Clinic-trained radiologist, and nurse navigators to help guide patients through services and treatment options.  

Each respective hospital’s Foundation has contributed funds to support mammography equipment.  
From screening to diagnosis to follow-up support, these specialized teams of experts are at Good Samaritan Hospital Mt. Vernon and St. Mary’s Hospital Centralia.  It all adds up to proven care that helps give every patient every possible advantage. To learn more visit, or call (618) 899-1234 to schedule your 3D mammogram.                                                  

Photo or the Good Samaritan Hospital – Mt. Vernon mammography staff:  Standing left to right are Gayla Hall, RN, Nurse Navigator, Chelsea Garrett RT (R)(M), Brandi Singler RT(R)(M) ADMS, RVT, Alicia Murray RT(R)(CT)(M), Wendy Johnson RT(R)(M)(CT), seated is Ryan Willis, MD Mayo Clinic Trained Radiologist