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MetroHealth on the Move

We recently expanded mammography and other breast health services at our Cleveland Heights Medical Center and Beachwood Health Center.

Since early December, MetroHealth has been offering 3D breast cancer screening services inside its Cleveland Heights Medical Center at 10 Severance Circle. The permanent onsite service replaces the Mobile 3D Mammography Coach, a weekly fixture for the past three years.

MetroHealth acquired the former Cleveland Heights HealthSpan building in 2016. Instead of resuming breast cancer screenings with outdated equipment, the health system invested in a Mobile 3D Mammography Coach. Planning for the acquisition of the special van, which took a year to be built, began in 2017. The latest breast cancer screening technology – the same used at all MetroHealth’s Breast Imaging sites – arrived at Cleveland Heights and four other ambulatory locations in the summer of 2019.

Multiple low dose images are captured during 3D tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography, as opposed to two-dimensional images obtained with 2-D mammograms.

“The volume of data with 3D has more information about the breast than standard 2D mammograms,” said Venkataramu N. Krishnamurthy, M.D., MetroHealth’s Department Chair of Radiology. “When there is more data, there is less chance of missing a cancer. Our accuracy in finding breast cancer improves incrementally.”

Demand for mammograms outpaced the available appointment slots.

Patients liked the convenience of the mobile van bringing mammograms close to where they lived – appointments often last less than 15 minutes. But they missed the experience of getting their screening inside the building, especially during the colder months.

Breast cancer screening mammography at the MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Medical Center is now available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The new machines, which reduce the overall radiation dose, have a higher sensitivity rate and a more comfortable curved surface.

The demand for screening mammograms is expected to increase even more in the wake of a new Ohio law in effect since the end of September. Most health insurers are now required to cover one screening mammogram a year, regardless of age or risk factors. The law also requires most insurers to cover supplemental screening exams for those patients with dense breasts or at an increased risk of breast cancer because of personal or family history, ancestry, a genetic predisposition to the disease or other reasons determined by their healthcare provider. Covered supplemental screening exams offered at MetroHealth include ABUS and MRI.

“Our goal with screening mammography and supplemental screening exams is to find small, early-stage disease and have the opportunity to give our patients better outcomes and a chance of cure,” said Christina Clemow, D.O., MetroHealth’s division chief of Breast Imaging and Intervention, who testified in support of the new law.

And while many medical societies have differing screening guidelines, MetroHealth now recommends every woman should get an annual mammogram starting at age 40.

At the time of their appointment, patients are given a risk assessment to determine their calculated lifetime risk of breast cancer. The risk score is used to determine if they would benefit from risk reducing medications or additional screening surveillance.

Advanced 3D Breast Cancer Care at MetroHealth Cleveland Heights

MetroHealth now offers the most-advanced breast cancer screening technology and other services at its Beachwood Health Center (3609 Park East Drive, North Building).

In addition to screening mammography, diagnostic mammography and ultrasound, the newly expanded Breast Center in Beachwood also offers stereotactic biopsy and other interventional breast services and automated breast ultrasound (ABUS).

The latest breast cancer screening technology in place at the expanded center is the same used at all of MetroHealth’s breast imaging sites. MetroHealth prides itself on offering 3D mammography, also known as breast tomosynthesis. This technology gives providers a three-dimensional image of the breast, allowing for more accurate life-saving diagnoses.

Appointments can be made through MyChart or by calling 216-957-BRST (2778).


Venkataramu N. Krishnamurthy, MD
Obstetrics and Gynecology