Wyandotte County has more women losing their lives to breast cancer than any other in the country.
A task force developed to reduce that rate is focusing on early detection.
One of the founding members, Art Bra KC is partnering with a clinic that offers a new type of technology that detects cancer faster - in turn saving more lives.
"If we can pick it up early, we can have over 95 percent survival rate," Dr. Kimberly Roys said.
Roys said the new 3D technology at Johnson County Imaging Center sees through dense breast tissue and spots tumors a typical 2D machine would miss.
"We're hoping we can pick them up much quicker, when they're only millimeters in size instead of centimeters in size," Ross said.
That means more lives saved for the founder of Art Bra KC, Sharon Butler-Payne, who is also a breast cancer survivor.
Her tumor went undetected for years, even with annual mammograms.
"I had very dense tissue in my breast which is very common for many women in America. It is those women who are at very high risk of experiencing breast cancer at later stages, because the technology that was available before this 3D technology was not able to discover the breast cancer embedded inside the tissue which is exactly what happened to me," she said.
Johnson County Imaging Center is the only outpatient center in the Kansas City metro with 3D mammography, making it more affordable and convenient for women.
The technology is also in some area hospitals, but it is so new that the technology isn't yet covered by insurance. Outpatient care typically costs 50 percent less.
"Outpatient imaging can be very cost effective, and these days people can be very cost aware," managing medical director Dr. Richard Miller said.
Insurance providers are expected to cover 3D mammograms by next year. In the meantime, Art Bra KC is partnering with the clinic to make it affordable for all women.
"This technology is going to make a huge difference for women like myself," Butler-Payne said.
A 3D mammogram at the center costs $49, and $5 of that will go to support Art Bra KC.
For more information about how you can get the mammogram for free, click here.
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