Bringing New Vision to Mammograms
In recent decades, the world of breast cancer diagnostics and treatment has made huge advancements, and the introduction of 3D mammography is among them. This recently FDA-approved technique, known as tomosynthesis, allows radiologists like Dr. Mignonne Morrell to more accurately detect breast cancer, while also reducing the number of false positives during her exams.
A true breakthrough in the diagnosis of breast cancer, 3D mammography takes image “slices” of the breast from multiple angles and then creates a 3D image.
This allows Dr. Morrell to better visualize the size, shape and location of an abnormality, making it easier to distinguish a harmless finding from a real tumor, which ultimately results in earlier detection and fewer false positives.
“With this new generation of tomosynthesis, we are able to improve our level of detection and reduce unnecessary callbacks, all while using the same radiation dosage,” explains Dr. Morrell, a radiologist with the LSU Healthcare Network.
A New Orleans native, Dr. Morrell attended Benjamin Franklin High School before receiving her B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Orleans and her doctorate from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – New Orleans. She completed her residency in Diagnostic Radiology and her fellowship in Women’s and Breast Imaging there as well.
Later this summer, Dr. Morrell and her team will be able to offer this new 3D mammography technology to patients at their St. Charles Avenue clinic. This type of continuous improvement to technology and treatment offerings is one of the aspects that initially attracted Dr. Morrell to the field of radiology.
“It’s a very intellectual field,” she explains. “New technology is always on the horizon and there is always something to learn.”
While the technology was the original draw for Dr. Morrell, it is the patient interaction that keeps her interest on a daily basis. “Diagnostic radiology isn’t just about sitting in a dark room all day long,” she laughs. “I love helping women through the process, reassuring and guiding them through the next steps of treatment.”
Over the past few years, there has been some debate regarding the recommended frequency of mammogram screenings. Dr. Morrell advises patients to adhere to the recommendations set forth by the American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology, which encourage all women to begin annual mammograms at age 40. She also says to continue regular self-exams and to be aware of any changes.
“Though technology is constantly improving, there is no perfect test,” Dr. Morrell says. “So it’s important to know your body, trust your instincts and call your doctor!”
Dr. Mignonne Morrell
St. Charles Ave. Multi-Specialty
3700 St. Charles Ave., 3rd Floor
New Orleans, LA 70115
Doctorate: LSU Health Sciences Center
Fellowship: Women’s and Breast Imaging — LSU Health Sciences Center
Residency: Diagnostic Radiology — LSU Health Sciences Center