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San Antonio, Texas (July 3, 2012) – Women who undergo routine mammograms in San Antonio now have the latest screening and diagnostic technology available to them. Nix Health is one of the first healthcare systems in San Antonio and the United States to offer digital 3D breast tomosynthesis, a new and innovative FDA-approved technology that helps physicians detect breast cancer earlier than standard 2D mammography. The technology, available at Nix Medical Center, located at 414 Navarro, offers exceptionally sharp breast images, a ground-breaking 3D tomosynthesis platform designed to deliver superior screening and diagnostic performance, and an advanced ergonomic design providing more patient comfort.

Breast tomosynthesis is a revolutionary technology that gives radiologists the ability to identify and characterize individual breast structures without the confusion of overlapping tissue. During a tomosynthesis exam, multiple, low-dose images of the breast are acquired at different angles. These images are then used to produce a series of one-millimeter thick slices that can be viewed as a 3D reconstruction of the breast. ”This technology will put Nix on the map as a leader in technology and ranked with the top mammography facilities in the world to offer the absolute best breast imaging for patients,” says Dr. Joseph Williams, Nix Medical Center Chief of Radiology. “If it can help find an additional 5% of cancers that can be missed, it means everything to our patients and their families.”

By offering women the latest technology in mammography, Nix Health hopes to increase the number of area women who will be routinely screened. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Statistics indicate that one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her lifetime. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is approximately 98 percent. “The images are simply amazing,” says Dr. Kathryn Wagner, Breast Specialist and Surgeon. “The enhanced magnification the first time decreases the need for patient callbacks, resulting in better care for patients and lower overall healthcare cost.” 

“Nix Health is committed to providing the latest technology and the highest quality of service to patients in San Antonio and South Texas,” says Nix Health CEO, John Strieby. “In offering 3D breast tomosynthesis digital mammography, we are providing the community the latest in imaging quality.”

The National Cancer Institute recommends that women age 40 or older should have screening mammograms every year. A prescription or referral is not required to schedule a screening mammogram. Women younger than 40 with increased risk factors for breast cancer should talk to their physician about when and how often to have a mammogram.

Because this new technology is not yet covered by insurance companies, patients electing to add the 3D portion to their standard mammogram will be charged a nominal fee. The standard 2D mammogram will still be billed to insurance, as it is currently. To schedule a mammogram or to learn more about this important breast health procedure, please call (210) 579-3211.

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