PINCKNEYVILLE, IL (KFVS) - Jackie Malinski, a breast cancer survivor, says the worst thing about being diagnosed and receiving treatment for that form of cancer is waiting for the results.
And, there is the constant possibility of being called back to the doctor's office to have a new mammogram taken when lower-quality images leave doctors without all the information they need.
The technology is now at Pinckneyville Community Hospital to help lessen the burden.
After receiving a large private donation, the hospital is home to a high-tech 3D mammogram machine.
It is on par with mammogram imaging services provided by hospitals in large cities where she says many southern Illinoisan breast cancer patients travel for treatment.
Dr. Robin Biermann, a diagnostic radiologist at Pinckneyville Community Hospital, says this kind of technology makes the treatment of breast cancer easier on both the patient and doctor.
"With a 2D image of a 3-dimensional object, it's very difficult to determine where something is exactly. Things can block it," he said. "By using the 3D, it can actually be rotated through those three dimensions and move things out of the way so a better image is obtained."
Dr. Biermann says these high-quality images benefit doctors by making it easier to locate lesions and other complications in the breast, thus making treatment easier.
Additionally, more pictures are taken in each 3D mammogram, meaning patients are exposed to less radiation due to fewer sessions. They also generate results quicker.
In the end, Malinski says these benefits lead to a less stressful experience for patients who don't have to wait as long for results.
And with such technology being available in rural southern Illinois, it opens the door for many patients in the area to travel less to receive treatment.