WHAT IS 3D MAMMOGRAPHY?
A New Tool in the Fight Against Breast Cancer
3D Mammography, or breast tomosynthesis, is a breakthrough in mammography that’s changing the way we screen for breast cancer—and it’s offered at Freehold Radiology Group! While mammograms have always been the gold standard of imaging techniques, the 2D images are very limiting when it comes to the three-dimensional breast. That’s because traditional mammograms produce just two images of each breast—a top-to-bottom view and a side-to-side view. This leaves some features hiding in the shadows, making it very difficult to detect cancers.
While it may look and feel like a conventional mammogram, 3D Mammography takes multiple images of the entire breast, allowing us to view the breast tissue in 1-millimeter “slices.” With this clearer, more accurate view, we’re able to see through layers of tissue and examine areas of concern from all angles. And that means there’s less chance for a cancer to hide behind overlapping tissue. The result? We have the potential to detect cancer earlier by pinpointing its exact location, size, nature, and extent—anywhere in the breast, during just one appointment.
- Improved Cancer Detection
- Reduced Call Backs
- Enhanced Dense Breast Visualization
- Less Patient Anxiety
- Fewer Office Visits
HOW SHOULD YOU PREPARE?
You should prepare for a 3D Mammogram in the same way you would prepare for a traditional mammogram.
- No perfume, deodorants, powder or lotions under the arms or around the breasts on the day of the exam.
- If you have breasts tenderness due to being premenstrual or in the beginning of your menstrual cycle, you should schedule your appointment when your breasts are not tender, or a week after your menstrual cycle begins.
- Remember to bring all previous mammograms for comparison from any outside facility with you on the day of your exam.
What should I expect during the 3D Mammography exam?
Just as with a 2-D digital mammogram, the technologist will position you, compress your breast under a paddle and take images from different angles. During the 3D part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple breast images in seconds automatically. There is no additional compression, and it only takes a few seconds longer for each view. The technologist will then view the images at their workstation to ensure they have captured the images for review by the radiologist.
Are there additional costs?
At this time, 3D mammograms are not covered by some insurance companies, but legislation and coverage is always changing. If you choose to have a 3D Mammogram there may be a small-out-of-pocket fee.
To learn more, please visit some of these educational links: