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Attention women over 45: A new West Michigan-based breast cancer trial needs you

With your help, the debate over whether 3-D mammography is better than 2-D mammography may soon be over.

The debate over whether 3-D mammography is better than 2-D mammography may soon be over. 

A new breast cancer trial taking place right here in West Michigan is working toward finding that answer. The trial is a partnership between Spectrum Health's Betty Ford Breast Care Services and the Cancer Research Consortium of West Michigan. The trial will compare 2-D mammograms with 3-D mammograms. 

 Dr. Jon-Eric Notarnicola, the Medical Director for Betty Ford Breast Care Services, is one of the lead investigators of the study.

"It's a comparison between our traditional 2-D Digital mammograms, and the ones referred to as the 3-D Tomosynthesis (3-D) mammograms. And it's randomized into two groups, one of which gets the annual screening. Another group gets screening every two years. And there are groups where to get the 2-D and the 3-D. And they're looking at the data long term to see the benefits picking up early aggressive cancers and these women, then they're also doing somewhat of a risk stratification where they're getting blood samples, saliva samples, and we'll get into molecular data and clinical outcomes long term. These, these patients are in the study for about five years, but followed for eight years total. So looking at long term," he said. 

In addition, the study will look at whether 3-D mammography might help certain groups of women, such as those with dense breasts, African Americans, premenopausal women and women on hormone replacement therapy.

The trial is currently enrolling women aged 45 to 74 who are planning to get a routine screening mammogram. 

If you are interested, contact the Cancer Research Consortium of West Michigan at (616) 391-1230.

Learn more about the Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening (TMIST) trial here. 

The TMIST trial is supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and is coordinated by the ECOG-ACRIN Research Group.

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