Dazzle Daze helps fund 3D mammography, other projects at Conway Regional

While shoppers at Dazzle Daze 2016 will not need to wear 3D glasses as they wind their way through the aisles in search of holiday treats and gifts, they will be contributing to a holiday blockbuster for Conway Regional Health System.

A portion of proceeds from the 15th Annual Dazzle Daze will help improve the detection of breast cancer in Faulkner County. Sometimes called 3D mammography, digital breast tomosynthesis or tomo will be available, for the first time in Faulkner County, in the Conway Regional Mammography Department within a few months.

The annual holiday shopping extravaganza will also fund additional services and technologically advanced equipment to support Conway Regional in providing high-quality compassionate health care to the community, as it has for nearly a century.

Tomo can increase the detection of invasive breast cancer by 41 percent, according to studies reported by WebMD and the American Journal of Medicine.

“Tomo is particularly effective in detection of breast cancer in women with dense breasts,” said Daniel Clark, MD, a radiologist and medical director of mammography at Conway Regional. “This is the next step in the detection of breast cancer in Faulkner County.” He added that tomo shows the greatest benefit for screening women with dense breasts that can sometimes hide masses and distortions from traditional, digital mammograms. Clark estimates that 40 to 50 percent of women receiving mammograms at Conway Regional will benefit from 3D mammography.

Numerous studies in Europe and the United States also indicate that 3D mammography reduces the number of false positives by 30 percent, which means less anxiety and fewer follow-up mammograms for patients.

During the 3D part of the exam, an X-ray arm sweeps over the breast, taking multiple images in seconds. The images are displayed in a series of thin slices that can be viewed by radiologists as individual images or in a dynamic interactive animation.

Since 2001, Dazzle Daze has provided more than $580,000 to help fund such projects as a new surgery and obstetrics addition, mammograms for underserved women, the Fabulous You Boutique that supports women going through cancer, academic scholarships for health care students and medically necessary scholarships to the Conway Regional Health & Fitness Center, along with equipment for the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Nursery and the Critical Care Unit.

“What we are doing is vitally important for the health system by providing more than $500,000 in services and equipment over the past 14 years,” said Dazzle Daze co-chair Pam Sims.

“Several thousand shoppers attend Dazzle Daze each year and that is a pretty big indicator of how the community feels about the event as well as the many volunteers who help put the event on each year,” Sims said. “Because we have a strong, committed group of women we are able to do this year after year.”

A 17-year Conway resident, Sims said the community connection to Conway Regional is an important reason why she volunteers at Dazzle Daze. Sims’ family has received care at Conway Regional for years, including her parents and grandchildren.

“My first granddaughter spent the first month of her life in the nursery. She got excellent care and I was thrilled that she didn’t have to go to Little Rock,” she said. “It is important that we support Conway Regional, our local community hospital and one way we do that is through events like Dazzle Daze.”