Saving lives locally with 3D Mammography

The impact that breast cancer has on the nation, and in our community, is widely felt. Breast cancer does not discriminate by age, race or economic status. In fact, one in every eight women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in her life.

Mammography is an important tool for detecting the first signs of cancer. As technology improves, cancer can be detected earlier. When cancer is found earlier, survival rates improve. That is why Mile Bluff Medical Center is ready to bring 3D mammography to Mauston.

Currently, 2D mammography is available in Mile Bluff’s Medical Imaging Department. “With the machine we have now, we are able to get two views of the breast, straight on and lateral,” explains mammographer Laurie Jensen. “Our equipment is very good and detailed, but technology is always improving. We really need 3D mammography at Mile Bluff because in addition to the two dimensions we currently use, the 3D technology also shows the depth in the breast where a problem may exist.”

Studies show that 3D mammography can

  • Improve detection of breast cancer in women of all ages
  • Provide clearer images, regardless of breast tissue density
  • Increase early detection of smaller, more invasive cancers
  • Decrease false-positive results and call-backs for additional imaging tests

Mile Bluff’s new equipment will produce clearer and enriched breast images, while also helping to reduce fear, worry and anxiety for patients undergoing screening. Mile Bluff’s new machine will feature a SensorySuite that utilizes sight, scent, and sound to distract women from the perceived discomfort, pain, and anxiety of a mammogram.

When undergoing a mammogram, women will be able to choose from a display of soothing videos and relaxing sounds. A scent diffuser will provide a calming fragrance to help put patients at ease. The new machine will also allow women to control the amount of compression used during the exam.

In addition to the SensorySuite, Mile Bluff will be able to provide stereotactic biopsies in Mauston with the new equipment. When a lump or questionable area is discovered in the breast, a patient may undergo a biopsy to further assess if breast cancer is present. Stereotactic biopsies can be used to diagnose cancer cells in breast tissue.

Using a mammogram machine to pinpoint the suspicious area, a radiologist uses two images of the breast to take a sample of tissue for testing. Previously, Mile Bluff did not have the capabilities to perform these biopsies and patients needed to travel to a larger facility. Now this service will be available in Mauston, keeping patients close to home with a healthcare team they know.

“I really think the 3D technology is another step up the ladder to improve on the exceptional care patients expect from Mile Bluff,” explains Laurie. “As a small town community in a rural setting, I think it will be great that we can bring this ‘big city’ technology to Mauston. We will have the technology needed to take care of patients so they don’t have to travel to the larger facilities to receive the testing they need.”

Patients depend on Mile Bluff to offer the most accurate screenings, with the latest technology. Mile Bluff and its foundation are looking for your help to support the purchase of this life-saving technology.

The cost of 3D mammography equipment is around $450,000. Projects of this magnitude are made easier when supported by donors who believe in the mission of providing exceptional healthcare at the local level.

Opportunities to support this project include:

  • Donate: Make a financial contribution to the foundation. Make a donation online or by check. All your donations (whether individual or as a company) to Mile Bluff Medical Center Foundation are tax-deductible.
  • Fundraise: Plan your own fundraiser. Whether it’s working with your fellow employees to have a jeans day, holding a bake sale, or creating an internal fundraising competition at work, every donation helps.
  • The Giving Circle: If you want to become further involved in this life-saving effort, become a founder of the Giving Circle. A giving circle is formed when individuals come together to give to a unifying cause. Mile Bluff Medical Center Foundation is seeking 100 founders to help support the purchase of the 3D mammography equipment for Mauston. Each founder will be asked to commit to collecting at least $500 in pledges from neighbors, family members, co-workers and friends.
  • Participate: In August we will be accepting entries into the ‘Bras for a Cause’ contest. Be on the lookout for more information.

Bringing 3D mammography to Mile Bluff is an investment in healthcare excellence and is truly a gift to the entire region. With this equipment we will be able to provide world-class breast cancer screenings locally. To learn more about 3D mammography and the impact it can have on our community, visit

If you would like to join the Giving Circle as a founder or would like to donate to the cause in other ways, contact foundation executive director, Martha Airth-Kindree at 608-847-1495 to discuss your participation in this initiative.