New technology in Spearfish allows for earlier breast cancer detection


According to, over 250,000 women in 2018 are expected to be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the United States. Early detection of the cancer is key in higher survival rates. Regional Health Medical Clinic in Spearfish now has 3-D technology to help catch those abnormalities quicker.

The hospital began using the new Genius 3 Mammography system this January. Radiologic Technologist Karen Otterberg says the new software is essential in early detection.

“By using this technology, we are able to find those cancers sooner and earlier,” Otterberg says, “thus, providing the patient with better treatment options and a better chance of survival.”

The new technology is a software update, allowing radiologists to sort through thinner layers of breast tissue.

Otterberg says the old update was a 2-D version, which didn’t allow radiologists to see through the layers of tissue as effectively.

“Even though we’re compressing the breast cancer together, the tissue is stacked on top of each other,” she says. “With the conventional 2-D image, we’re not able to see through that tissue. The 3-D allows us to see a slice … at a time thus finding cancers earlier than before.”

The patient won’t experience much of a difference with the new update. Within 12 seconds dozens of photos will be taken of the breast, better revealing any present abnormalities.

Experts say that women should begin getting mammograms at 40 years old.

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