Mammography dates back to 1913 when Albert Salomon attempted to visualize breast cancer through radiography. Modern-day mammography techniques were developed in the late ‘60s and have evolved with time and new technology. Today, mammography is hailed as one of the most effective ways to detect breast cancer. The effort to defeat this disease and prevent deaths due to breast cancer has been given a powerful tool with the advent of 3D mammography in 2013.

CHI St. Vincent Breast Center in partnership with Radiology Associates, PA, is the only private facility in Central Arkansas offering 3D mammography at this time.

Dr. Jerry Gehl is the medical director for the CHI St. Vincent Breast Center; he has practiced medicine for 35 years and has specialized in breast imaging for 20.

“Two dimensional mammography is the gold standard for early detection, 3D is an embellishment,” Gehl said. “We introduced 3D mammography in our practice as a screening modality in our new West Little Rock location near the Promenade Mall.

Gehl said with 2D mammograms the data is placed on a plate and viewed as a single image.


“3D mammograms allow us to take a look at the breast tissue as ‘slices’ inside the breast tissue. You can see more.”

He likens the view provided by 3D mammography, or tomosynthesis, to viewing a loaf of raisin bread. When you look at the loaf, you see some raisins; however, when you remove a slice you see more, and if you were to move from slice a slice you’d see fruit that wasn’t visible when viewing the whole loaf.

“This technology allows us to look into tissue without as much overlapping of other tissue; this is especially helpful when viewing dense breast tissue. The two biggest advantages of 3D mammography are reduced callbacks [when a patient is called in for further testing due to something unclear or irregular on a mammogram], and we are able to find more cancers. We are able to identify superimpositions that look as if they may be something, for instance, we are better able to determine if a spot is due to overlapping normal breast tissue that can mimic an abnormality versus a true abnormality.”

2D mammogram

2D mammogram


Gehl said to maximize the benefits of mammograms, average risk women should get a mammogram every year beginning at age 40.

3D mammograms are done in addition to the traditional 2D mammograms. As an introductory offer, CHI St. Vincent Breast Center/RAPA is offering the 3D screening mammogram portion of the study at no additional cost beyond the cost of the traditional 2D mammogram. For further information, call 501.661.9766.

Note: You should ask when you call to schedule your mammogram if this offer is still available.

(All photos and videos courtesy of CHI St. Vincent Breast Center in partnership with Radiology Associates, PA)


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