You probably already know that women 40 and over should get a mammogram each year to help detect breast cancer in its early stages. But did you know there’s a new type of mammogram that’s become available in recent years?
Over the course of the past decade, 3D mammography has become an important innovation in the fight against breast cancer.
A 3D mammogram, otherwise known as breast tomosynthesis, is an imaging technique that combines more than one breast X-ray to generate a three-dimensional image. Your doctor can use the resulting image to look for signs of breast cancer, even if you have no symptoms. They can also use a 3D mammogram to investigate other breast issues, including nipple discharge and breast pain.
3D mammograms can be more effective than traditional 2D mammograms at finding invasive breast cancer. According to a recent interview with mammography technician Jill Rosier, the new type of mammogram finds 41% more invasive breast cancers at her hospital than 2D mammograms. 3D mammograms also make it easier for doctors to catch breast cancer early, which is critical for treatment efforts.
Women with dense breast tissue can benefit in particular from 3D mammography, because it provides a clearer image than traditional mammograms. A 3D mammogram carries no more risk than a traditional mammogram, although it does take slightly longer. It also takes radiologists a bit longer to read, because it produces more images.
Not all insurance plans cover 3D mammograms, so make sure to check in advance before you request one.
Interested in learning more about breast cancer screenings or any of the other services and procedures we offer at South Avenue Women’s Services? Feel free to give us a call or contact us online today for a confidential consultation!