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Get Pink: New lifesaving mammograms for more Oklahomans Nov. 1

(KOKH)

Advanced cancer detection technology will be available to more Oklahomans starting in November.

Changes to Oklahoma state law will mean the technology, called 3D tomosynthesis, will be covered by insurance providers if it is not currently covered.

This cancer detection technology is also known as a 3D mammogram, and an Oklahoma City radiologist tells Fox 25, that it is undoubtedly better for early breast cancer detection. Unlike a standard mammogram, this machine captures a 3D image of the inside of the breast, and doctors can examine the image in slices.

“It actually takes mammograms in thin slices and reconstructs the images, and we can have a better look within the tissue of the breast,” says Dr. Michael Haslam, diagnostic radiologist with St. Anthony Hospital.

This machine has been available at St. Anthony’s hospital since 2014, but changes in Oklahoma law earlier this year will mean insurance must cover 3D mammograms starting November first, and may give people an even better chance at survival.

“This is something, as a radiologist, this new technology has been a god send for us, because as we all know early detection and early treatment of breast cancer is the key,” says Haslam.

3D mammograms are still relatively new. The Food and Drug Administration approved them in 2011. The FDA says that nearly 90-percent of women who are diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, and are treated, are cancer free in five years. Technology like the 3D mammograms make finding that cancer even more quickly a reality.

Mammograms can detect breast cancer even before you might feel a lump. However, since mammograms are recommended for women 40 and older, it is still important to perform self-check exams at home and see your doctor right away if you feel a lump, especially if you are younger than 40 years old.

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