Back to articles

St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake’s 3D Mammography Service Sees First Patient

Cancer Clearlake, Calif.—St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake has brought the latest breast cancer screening technology to Clearlake. With the hospital’s new cutting-edge 3D mammography service, Lake County women now have access to clearer images and pinpoint accuracy proven to increase cancer detection rates. The medical imaging team provided a 3D mammography screening to their first patient on June 1, 2016.

Studies have shown that 3D Mammography, otherwise known as Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT), provides greater accuracy in pinpointing the size, shape and location of tumors, especially for women with dense breast tissue. By taking multiple pictures of each breast in just four seconds, a 3D mammogram gives radiologists clear, highly focused images of breast tissue, layer by layer. 

St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake is one of few locations in the region to offer this advanced medicine technology. Previously, women would have to drive 50 miles from Clearlake to access this state-of-the-art imaging service.

“This cutting edge technology is just one more way we’re helping to keep the women of Lake County healthy and breast cancer free,” shared David Santos, St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake’s President and CEO. “We’re investing in this technology because women and families in our community deserve access to advanced medicine close to home.”

Research shows that 3D mammography results in a 29% increase in detection of all breast cancers and a 41% increase in detection of invasive breast cancers. When it is detected and treated early, women have the best chance of beating breast cancer. 

The 3D mammography technology benefits all women, not just those with a family history of breast cancer or dense breast tissue. “Increased detection means fewer unnecessary biopsies and diagnostic evaluations,” explained Amber Thompson, director of medical imaging. “We hope this helps Lake County women return to their lives with peace of mind.” 

3D mammography has revolutionized detection by taking multiple pictures of each breast from many angles. During the imaging session, an X-ray tube moves in an arc around the breast, taking 11 images in a matter of seconds. This is done with the same two compressions as a 2D mammogram and with no increased radiation exposure.

3D mammography and bone density (DXA) scanning services available in the new Medical Imaging Suite in the Hilltop Professional Building at 15322 Lakeshore Drive in Clearlake. These services are covered by Medicare and most major insurance plans. Schedule a screening by calling 707.995.5638.


St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 75 communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 32,700 includes more than 23,400 employees; nearly 5,000 medical staff physicians; and 4,300 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist heritage and values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 260 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 15 home care agencies, seven hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. In addition, the Adventist Health Plan serves patients in Kings County. Adventist Health ranked #10 in Becker's list of the largest nonprofit hospital systems in the U.S. for 2015. Visit for more information.