Section: News

3D Mammography Breast Cancer Screenings Now Available at Queen of the Valley Medical Center


Napa, Calif. (July 20, 2017) – Queen of the Valley Medical Center recently purchased two Hologic® 3D Mammography™ machines, providing radiologists with another tool to screen and diagnose breast cancer. This technology is the newest addition to the hospital’s breast cancer screening program, which also includes highly accurate digital 2D mammography. The purchase was made possible by grants and community contributions to Queen of the Valley Foundation’s $10 million Cancer Care campaign, which is bringing the latest in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment to the Napa Valley.

“This is the most advanced technology for breast cancer screening, and we are blessed to have it here in the Napa Valley,” said Elaine John, vice president of philanthropy at Queen of the Valley Medical Center and president/CEO of Queen of the Valley Foundation. “Not only are we providing our patients with the best care possible, we are allowing them to be screened close to home, with no need to travel out of the area.”

3D Mammography uses a technique called “breast tomosynthesis,” which reveals fine details that may otherwise be hidden. The final images are then converted into a stack of very thin layers, or “slices,” for the radiologist to review. Conventional 2D mammograms can be limiting due to overlapping layers of tissue, which can sometimes produce unclear results, false alarms, or worse — cancer being missed. By producing a series of detailed breast images, the radiologist can better evaluate the breast layer by layer. This greater accuracy means better breast cancer detection and a reduced chance of being called back for additional screening.

For patients, the process is very similar to receiving a routine mammogram. The technologist positions the patient,

compresses the breast, and takes images from different angles. The 3D exam lasts only a few seconds longer per image and

uses very low X-ray energy, keeping radiation exposure below FDA guidelines. No additional breast compression is required.

The Hologic® 3D Mammography™ system can take both a 2D and 3D image set; the 2D image can be either an acquired 2D image or a 2D image generated from the 3D image set.

Doctors agree that early detection is the best defense against breast cancer, which affects one in every eight women over the course of a lifetime. If breast cancer is found early, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent.1 In 2017, an estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the United States2; more than 50 women were diagnosed with breast disease in Napa County in 20163. Women are encouraged to speak to their primary care physician to discuss whether 3D mammography is the best option for them. For more information about Queen of the Valley’s Breast Center or 3D mammography, visit

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