When it comes to mammograms, there’s a new technology in town and it shows great promise in early breast cancer detection. 3D mammograms are becoming a wide-spread tool in combating breast cancer. Approved in 2011 by the FDA, 3D mammograms’ radiation exposure is only slightly higher than the regular 2D mammogram, and takes about the same amount of time. Facing that nerve-wracking call from the doctor to get a follow up mammogram may be a thing of the past, especially for women with dense breast tissue.
3D mammograms visually separate the breast tissue into layers that are studied as a series of images which allows the radiologist to make accurate observations of the breast.
The software takes those layers and reassembles them into a 3D image that has amazing detail, further aiding in the detection of breast cancer at a very early stage.
3D mammograms have several advantages over traditional mammograms:
- Provide clearer images into tissue layers, especially for women with dense breasts
- Provide more accurate detection of cancerous cells
- Provide even earlier detection of breast cancer
- Provide fewer instances of call backs for additional images
- Lessens anxiety and stress
3D mammograms require just a few moments more than a regular mammogram, and use the same amount of compression. That’s where the similarity to regular mammograms end, because 3D Mammograms provide 35% better detection. The 15 degree arc that the mammogram covers provides the multiple images that make this approach so important.
Insurance companies are beginning to cover 3D mammograms and Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg is talking with insurance companies on a regular basis about the increased detection they provide. This is prompting insurers to consider covering them. In many cases there is just a small difference in the out of pocket expense for the 3D mammogram, compared to the cost of a 2D mammogram.
3D mammograms are a wonderful tool for early detection. Women of all breast types, and those who have dense breasts, should seriously consider this new technology and discuss it with their healthcare provider. You can request a 3D mammogram when you schedule your next annual screening.