A $2.75 million grant is bringing advanced technology to Tacoma’s Carol Milgard Breast Center to help detect early signs of breast cancer.
The center will be the first in Pierce County to offer tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography. Six “tomo” units will be installed at the center throughout the year.
The unit is used during breast exams when an X-ray takes several images of the breast in seconds and converts them into a stack of thin layers. That allows radiologists to look at breast tissue one layer at a time instead of as a single image.
“Fewer patients will be called back for additional imaging because tomosynthesis allows the radiologist to see the breast tissue much more clearly,” said Khai Tran, medical director of the Carol Milgard Breast Center.
Combining 3D mammography with conventional breast imaging has increased detection rates from 10 percent to 30 percent, according to MultiCare Health System, which jointly owns the center with Franciscan Health System.
It is also said to cut the number of patient return visits by 30 percent.
The grant comes from the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation.
Carol Milgard Breast Center was founded in 2009 in honor of Carol Milgard, who started the foundation with her husband Gary and three children in 2000.
She was a breast cancer survivor.stacia.glenn@ thenewstribune.com