About 12 percent of all American women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their life. Early detection is vital for survival, and traditional mammograms can detect cancerous cells as early as two years before a tumor is palpable in a self-exam or a physician examination. Many health care providers now offer a 3D mammogram, which is more in-depth than standard tests.
What Is a 3D Mammogram?
This technology may also be called breast tomosynthesis, and it involves capturing multiple images of breast tissue to recreate a three-dimensional photo. With a traditional mammogram, also known as two-dimensional diagnostics, the equipment only captures a single image. Most patients do not notice significant differences between the traditional test and the three-dimensional process. The time it takes for the tube to move across the breast is just slightly longer with a 3D mammogram, and the radiation released by the test is the same for both two and three-dimensional procedures. Radiologists must read multiple three-dimensional images, either individually or in animated format, which may lengthen review times slightly.
What Are the Benefits of This Examination?
Detection rates have increased up to 30 percent with tomosynthesis over two-dimensional diagnostics. A 3D mammogram can also detect cancerous tumors earlier, which can increase survival rates. With greater accuracy and clarity, both physicians and patients can have more confidence in test results, which provides peace of mind. Eliminating the need for repeated tests also helps reduce medical expenses and time in the hospital.
Who Is Eligible for a Mammogram?
Virtually every patient could benefit from this test. Patients over 40 can receive this procedure without a written referral, while younger patients may require a doctor’s note. Anyone with dense breast tissue benefits because the tool captures separate images of tissue layers for better diagnostics. Women with risk factors may also benefit from choosing 3D mammograms due to the enhanced diagnostics. Factors that elevate risk include a family history of breast cancer, having a first child after the age of 30 or never giving birth, having the first menstrual period at an early age or reaching menopause late, obesity, and advanced age. Because insurance policies vary, patients should contact their insurance provider to ensure the procedure is covered.
Call for your screening mammogram today:
PINK Breast Center
Flemington: (908) 284-2300
Paterson: (973) 977-6662