Buddy Check 25: Pekin Hospital 3D Mammography - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Buddy Check 25: Pekin Hospital 3D Mammography

PEKIN, Ill. -- Women in Tazewell County no longer have to travel to Peoria for 3D mammography.

Doctors are expected to diagnose nearly 8,000 people with breast cancer in Illinois alone this year.

3D mammography, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, is helping to catch cancer earlier.

Lyb Collier's gentle demeanor helps put Pekin Hospital patients at ease.

She's a mammographer, and she knows how stressful the simple test can be with its unknowns and what ifs.

As Collier walks patients through the screening, she can't thinks of her own experience.

After more than 20 years of helping other women through the breast cancer screening process, her own mammogram results came back positive for breast cancer.

She wasn't shocked.

Collier had a family history of the disease.

The 54-year-old has dense breast tissue, which can make it hard to find cancer early on a 2D mammogram.

That's why she is glad patients at Pekin Hospital now have access to the latest 3D screening technology.

"It does detect things earlier, but I think, more importantly, is it's more specific," said radiologist Dr. Gordon Cross.

Dr. Cross says the slightly more expensive test provides a far better look at breast tissue than the traditional 2D screening, and his patients in Tazewell County no longer have to travel to a larger hospital to have access to the 3D exam.

"It is revolutionized mammography... Fewer callbacks, more accurate, shorter wait-time for results," said Dr. Cross.

The radiologist and his team members like Collier say they just wish all insurance companies would automatically cover the extra cost of what they call a superior exam.

It's the 25th of the month, the day we remind you to be pro-active about your health by getting screened, doing a breast self-exam, and telling a buddy to do the same.

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