A mammogram is a type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray to produce an image of internal breast tissue. A screening mammogram plays a central part in early detection of breast cancer because it can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them. Women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year, as well as a clinical breast exam. Women at increased risk due to a strong family history of breast cancer should ask their physician about screening before age 40 and about the frequency of screening. A diagnostic mammogram is a state-of-the-art test used to evaluate breast abnormalities such as a lump or breast pain. Other diagnostic imaging options may include breast ultrasound, breast MRI or biopsy.
What is a 3D mammography breast exam?
Tomosynthesis, also called 3D mammography, is the latest advancement in breast screening technology. This revolutionary new screening and diagnostic tool, takes 15 images of the breast from all angles and reconstructs them into one image. The 3D X-ray allows radiologists to look through the breast instead of viewing a flat image. Tomosynthesis picks up smaller masses than traditional 2D scanning, with less overlap of tissue that can obscure suspicious spots.
What are the benefits for 3D mammography breast exams?
With conventional digital mammography, the radiologist is viewing the complexities of breast tissue in one flat image. Sometimes breast tissue can overlap, giving a false illusion that normal, healthy tissue appears abnormal. Looking at breast tissue in one millimeter slices, decreases tissue overlap and provides a clearer, more confident assessment. The latest studies show that 3D mammography increases the detection of invasive cancers by 40 percent while decreasing the need for follow-up imaging by 15 percent. Parker Hospital is charging the same price for 3D scans as the traditional digital mammogram; this new technology will not result in an increased fee for patients.
What should I expect during as 3D mammography exam?
A 3D mammogram is done in conjunction with a standard 2D mammogram. The 3D screening is done at the same time with the same system. It only takes a few seconds longer for each view, and no additional compression is required.
Is there more radiation dose?
Very low x-ray energy is used during the exam. This is just about the same amount as a traditional mammogram and well below regulated limits.
What is the difference between a screening and diagnostic mammogram.
A screening mammogram is your annual mammogram performed every year. If your screening comes back with any unclear areas, your radiologist may ask you to come back for follow-up images, known as a diagnostic mammogram. Additional imaging is used to rule out any unclear areas found on the screening. Diagnostic exams are also performed whenever there is an issue identified in the breast by the patient or their health care provider. A diagnostic mammogram requires a written order from your health care provider.
Who can have a 3D mammography exam?
It is approved for all women who would be undergoing a standard mammogram, in both a screening and diagnostic setting. To schedule your appointment, call Breast Care Center at 720-809-8968.