PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (WMBB) — A new piece of technology will help save lives in Gulf and Franklin counties.

Ascension Sacred Heart Gulf now has a machine to conduct 3D mammograms.

This is a relief to those who used to travel hours for this kind of treatment.

Trish Warriner is a well-known figure in the Port St. Joe community. She is also a breast cancer survivor.

When she learned Ascension Sacred Heart Gulf was getting a 3D mammogram machine, she was over the moon.

“This machine is important because my doctors encouraged me to have my mammograms on the same machine so I’m excited to have this same machine over here so that I don’t have to drive two hours,” Warriner said. “It’s much more convenient than driving either from Port St. Joe to Tallahassee or Port St. Joe to Panama City or Destin. So, I mean, this is top-notch. This is so much more convenient.”

The hospital used to have a 2D machine, but Ascension Sacred Heart Gulf Head of Radiology Dr. Kumal Jani said 3D is so much more thorough.

“When we combine the two views, the CC view and the MLO view in 3D, that truly allows us to, number one, increase our sensitivity for detection of cancer and number two, to decrease our callback rate,” Jani said. “Callback rate is the number of times we call women that saying, ‘We don’t really know what’s going on. Come on back, let’s take another look through a different view’ so this machine helps tremendously with those.”

Dr. Jani said having this life-saving technology in-house will help him do his job more efficiently.

“Breast cancer affects one in eight women in their lifetime so this machine helps us to, number one, detect their cancers, hopefully, detect their cancers earlier so that we can provide treatment, surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy that will help them cure their disease,” Jani said. “Number two, overall improve their health by making sure that they can stay locally for their care.”

The machine will be ready for new patients starting Wednesday, April 5.