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3D Mammography available soon in Gillette

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  • Written By: Shelby Quintana, Intern
3D Mammography available soon in Gillette

Bea Pfenning has been an advocate for breast cancer screening even before her first mammogram at age 35. She has a family history of breast cancer—her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were all diagnosed, causing her to be cautious.

“I found a lump during a self-breast exam and that’s when I had to get a mammogram and an ultrasound,” says Bea. “It’s really scary when you find a breast lump when you’re 35, and you have a set of twins that are only one,” remembers Bea.

The first screening results were fine, but Bea has continued to perform self-breast exams and schedule annual mammograms beginning at age 40. "I push for women to do self-breast exams no matter what age you are,” says Bea.

Traditional two-dimensional, or 2D mammograms usually take two x-rays of each breast from different angles; top to bottom and side to side. These images are then interpreted by a radiologist. A traditional 2D mammogram must compress the breast and can be uncomfortable for many patients. According to Radiology Clinical Supervisor Tia Knapp, 2D mammograms may also result in unclear imaging when patients have dense breast tissue or when breast tissue is overlapping.

After talking with her doctor, Bea decided to have a three-dimensional, or 3D mammogram instead. Also referred to as Tomosynthesis, 3D mammography lets radiologists examine the tissue – one thin layer at a time. “It is a technology that is saving lives,” says Bea.

CCH 3D Mammography in Gillette Wyoming

Bea used to travel out of town to have this higher level of screening, but starting in July CCH patients will have the option to get a 3D mammogram at the Campbell County Memorial Hospital Radiology department.

Tia explains the procedure for a 3D mammogram. “The arm of the x-ray machine will move in an arc over your breast, taking x-ray pictures from many angles. These 25 images are sent electronically to a computer and assembled into a 3-dimensional picture of the breast.”

Radiation exposure is minimal during this exam, well below the acceptable limits defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Breasts are positioned in the same way as a 2D mammogram, but less pressure is applied for compression. “It was definitely more comfortable than a 2D [mammogram],” said Bea about the 3D mammogram that she had in December 2017.

“Patients will not have to travel outside of Gillette anymore to have this service,” says Terri Kinney, Director of Radiology and Imaging Services.

“I am thrilled that it will be here,” says Bea.

Patients will be offered the option to have a 3D mammogram when scheduling an appointment, but should consult their doctor to see if this level of screening would be beneficial.

For more information on 3D mammography, visit

CCMH Radiology

Choosing an Imaging Center for your Radiology Exam
Not all imaging centers or radiology departments are alike.

  • ACCREDITATION. Approval by the American College of Radiology indicates that stringent standards are maintained to monitor and control the radiation dose you receive during an imaging test.
  • HIGHLY TRAINED PERSONNEL. CCH Radiology technologists are registered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists for all the exams they provide.
  • BOARD CERTIFIED PHYSICIANS. Board certified and board eligible radiologists with deep roots in the community interpret your exams.
  • EXPERIENCE. The CCH radiology staff has more than 300 years of combined experience, ensuring a safe, effective imaging study.
  • IMAGING STUDIES. In addition to digital mammography, CCH provides other studies your doctor needs to diagnose and treat disease, including digital x-ray, MRI, CT, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, DEXA scan and PET CT.
  • CONVENIENCE. Patients can have their x-ray or MRI at our Outpatient Imaging Center, located at 508 Stocktrail Avenue, with convenient parking and easy access.

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers.
The average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 12% – there is a one in eight chance she will develop breast cancer.

Death rates from female breast cancer dropped 39% from 1989 to 2015. Since 2007, breast cancer death rates have been steady in women younger than 50, but have continued to decrease in older women.

These decreases are believed to be the result of finding breast cancer earlier through screening and increased awareness, as well as better treatments.

Source: American Cancer Society

  • Category: Radiology