ODESSA, TX (KWES) - A new state law went into effect this month and is aiming to help more women detect breast cancer. The law allows women to have better access to 3D mammograms without paying more compared to 2D mammograms.
The new law requires commercial insurers to cover the cost of 3D mammograms. Texas already requires coverage of 2D mammograms, and before, women would have to spend an extra $100 dollars just to use the 3D mammograms.
"I think it's great, it's the new technology, it's beneficial," said Dr. Gage Hicks, a Radiology Specialist with Medical Center Hospital. "Having more women have access to it is overall, better."
The 3D units give doctors a better look at the breast tissue. The 2D units take pictures of the sides of the breast. The problem with those is that doctors can find a possible mass, so patients have to go back to do another screening and biopsy. 3D units eliminate that problem, since it allows doctors to not only take images of the sides of the breast, but also the tissue in between. This eliminates the number of patient callbacks because of these false alarms.
"Sometimes there's potential abnormality that turns out to be normal breast tissue overlapping itself but with the 3D mammograms, being able to look through those various layers of tissue, that can be sorted out at the time of screening reducing the need for women to come back for more pictures," said Hicks.
With more access to a better screening, now there's no risk to using the newer technology, there's no risk to finding an early and more accurate detection, because in turn, it prevents patients from being high-risk for breast cancer.