HSHS St. Joseph’s Breese has upgraded its mammography equipment to include SenoClaire, GE Healthcare’s breast tomosynthesis solution designed with three-dimensional imaging technology. The hospital invested $167,000 in this state-of-the-art technology to detect breast cancer at the earliest possible stage. The full cost of this update was paid through a capital campaign launched last fall by HSHS St. Joseph’s Foundation.
SenoClaire, which was approved by the FDA in 2014, uses a fast, low-dose X-ray sweep around the positioned breast with multiple exposures while removing the potential motion from the tube. This helps to reduce blur and increase image sharpness.
“HSHS St. Joseph’s Breese is committed to offering a comprehensive breast program right here in Clinton County, from screening and diagnosis through treatment and rehab,” said interim CEO Amy Ballance.
“SenoClaire provides patients with another option, and will help clinicians better detect breast cancer with low dose radiation and high image quality.”
In addition to 2D and 3D mammography, St. Joseph’s Breese offers stereotactic breast biopsy capabilities. Dr. Timothy Ruff and Dr. Joshua Knolhoff, general surgeons with HSHS Medical Group who see patients in the Breese Physician Offices, both utilize this technology to rule out or pinpoint a cancer diagnosis. If cancer is diagnosed, oncology providers Dr. Justin Floyd, and nurse practitioner Kristi Toennies, RN, MSN, of Cancer Care Specialists, see patients and offer chemotherapy infusion in the hospital’s Specialty Clinics. Medical staff member Dr. Mohamed Megahy of Breese Oncology, provides radiation therapy just across Jamestown Road from the hospital. Plastic surgeon Vidya Shankaran, MD, also sees patients in Breese for reconstruction and plastic surgery consults.
At the HealthPlex, Occupational Therapist Tonya Troxell and Physical Therapist Maggie Timmermann offer cancer rehab, various aspects of lymphedema treatment, and can help breast cancer patients with the pain often associated with expanders. The HealthPlex also houses the Cancer Care Closet, where free wigs, head coverings and American Cancer Society resources are available by appointment.
“We are pleased to be working with GE Healthcare to provide women with a precise screening tool available to help detect breast cancer,” said Stephen Morris, the hospital’s Radiology Manager. “SenoClaire marks a significant step forward in helping our clinicians detect breast cancer. When cancer is identified and treated earlier, we know women have better outcomes.”
A key challenge when performing screening mammography is keeping the radiation levels as low as possible. With GE’s SenoClaire, there is no increase in dose from a 2D standard mammogram to a 3D view, which means there is no increased radiation to patients during a SenoClaire breast exam.
Many providers do cover 3D Mammography which costs approximately $102 more than a standard mammogram at this time. There is also an additional cost of around $60 for the radiologist to read the more detailed scan. Patients are encouraged to call their insurance providers to confirm coverage, and those who choose 3D technology will be asked to sign a waiver.
The Medical Imaging department at HSHS St. Joseph’s also offers ultrasound, CT Scan, MRI, nuclear medicine, X-ray and bone density testing. An appointment, available with a provider’s referral, can be scheduled by calling 618-526-5396.