'The Cadillac of 3D mammography' comes to MUSC Health in Kershaw County

July 09, 2024
Four women stand around a 3D mammogram machine.
Mammography technicians Wendy Welch, Wanda Milliski, Brantley Ussery and Dawn Garrett gather around the new Resolution 3Dimensions Mammography system, which was installed at MUSC Health-Elgin location in early June. Photo by Tiana Scarlett

MUSC Health is bringing what one doctor calls “the Cadillac of 3D mammography” to Kershaw County. “This is an exciting stepforward,” said Tallulah Holmstrom, M.D., chief medical officer of the MUSC Health Kershaw Medical Center in Camden.

The machines are made by the company Hologic, which says it uses deep learning technology with “Genius AI Detection.” MUSC Health is one of the first hospital systems in the state to acquire them. 

Andrea Miller serves as division director of imaging for MUSC Health-Midlands, which includes the Kershaw County sites. “We have been looking forward to this upgrade and will now be equipped with the latest and greatest AI. Our radiology team is excited to start using this technology and software,” she said.

Tallulah Holmstrom, MD, MBA, CPPS 
Dr. Tallulah Holmstrom

So what makes 3D mammograms special, and the Hologic one in particular? According to the American Cancer Society, studies have found that 3D mammograms make it less likely for women to have to come back for follow-up screenings than in the past. They also seem to detect more breast cancer and make it easier for radiologists to analyze images of dense breasts. (Dense breasts have higher levels of glandular and fibrous connective tissue and less fat.)

As for the Hologic technology, the company calls its Genius AI Detection “the next breakthrough in early breast cancer detection,” one that gets better results than previous iterations.

The MUSC Health Urgent Care Elgin Medical Pavilion, at 2689 Highway 1 South, has already installed the Hologic 3D mammogram machine. Holmstrom said it’s a great location for it. “It's our largest screening site. Beautiful place, easy to get in and out.”

MUSC Health Kershaw Medical Center at 1315 Roberts St. in nearby Camden is also getting 3D mammography. Holmstrom said it’s part of a larger effort to bring more options to women in areas that need them. 

That includes a new site that’s already in the works. “We're building an ambulatory women's physical office space. We’re in the design phase of that, but we'll hopefully start construction pretty soon. It’s going to be very conveniently located for just about everybody in our community.”

Convenience is key for a place that’s considered part of the Columbia metro area but hasn’t always had the kind of care that proximity might suggest. “As medical technology is advancing, MUSC is making it available for Kershaw to advance and to secure these tools so that our patients, even though they're living a little remote from Columbia, a lot remote from Charlotte or Charleston, can still get access to standard and state-of-the-art care that they otherwise would have to travel out of the county to receive,” Holmstrom said.

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