BUDDY CHECK 7: Trial compares 2D and 3D mammograms

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 3:26 PM CDT
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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - Clinical trials help gather data for all kinds of different medical reasons.

One of Marshfield Clinic’s current trials will hopefully tell researchers whether 2D or 3D mammograms are better at finding the sort of breast cancers that are most likely to spread and kill women.

The study is taking place nationwide, but right here in northcentral Wisconsin, two staff members at the clinic are working hard to gather as much information at possible.

“3D is a new mammogram, so everyone is believing that because it’s new, then it’s better than the old mammogram. So, that is why the research is being done,” researcher Tolulope Bello explained.

Right now about 230 patients are enrolled in the ongoing study through Marshfield Clinic. They’ll be monitored for at least the next eight years.

Those who agree to participate, don’t know initially which mammogram they’ll be getting.

“Because of the study, it’s a randomized trial, which means we do not have a say of which patient will be on the particular type of mammogram,” Bello said.

Dr. Kristie Guite is leading the clinic’s study. She says each format has it’s own benefits, and even with new technology, 2D screenings won’t be going away. She says the data collected will also explain more than just, which one is better.

“It’s also trying to help us determine which group of women might benefit the most from a 3D mammogram, and is there a subgroup of women that doesn’t benefit, that maybe can just have the 2D mammogram or get a screening mammogram at some interval other than every year,” Dr. Guite explained.

For patients, the difference between a 2D or 3D mammogram is simply a few seconds.

“They may see the mammogram machine move, that’s the 3D acquiring the image. A 2D mammogram, the machine just holds still,” Dr. Guite said.

Right now, not all insurance providers cover the cost of a 3D mammogram. So, doctors say it’s important to check before making an appointment.

If you or someone you know would be interested in participating in the TMIST study and are between the ages of 45 and 75 - you can check out more on the study here:

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