What Makes A 3D Mammogram Different From A Traditional Screening?

3d mammographyBreast cancer screening is important because it can help detect cancer early before it’s had to chance to spread. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat.

Mammograms are one of the best ways to screen for breast cancer. And with evolving technology, there are now different types of mammography to choose from. That said, does it matter which type of mammogram you choose to get?

3D Mammography Vs 2D Mammography: What’s The Difference?
3D mammography, or tomosynthesis, uses the same X-ray technology as 2D mammography. In both screening tests, the patient’s breasts are compressed between two plates. This allows the breast to be flattened for a better X-ray.

Where 2D and 3D mammography differs is in how the machine takes images. For instance, in 2D mammography, the X-ray machine takes images of the breast from the front and side. In 3D mammography, the X-ray machine takes images of the breast from many different angles.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared 3D mammography in 2013. The screening test is just as accurate as 2D mammography. Whether it’s best to receive a 2D or 3D mammogram ultimately comes down to your preference, but some women may benefit more from a 3D mammogram.

Who Should Get 3D Mammography?
Women of all types can benefit from 3D mammography. But women who have dense breasts, in particular, may want to consider a 3D mammogram over a traditional mammogram.

Dense breasts are when the breast has more supportive tissue than fatty tissue. It can be more difficult to see cancerous lumps in dense breasts compared to other breasts. That said, 3D mammograms may be able to identify cancerous lumps in dense breasts because the X-ray machine takes images at many different angles.

Keep in mind that 3D mammograms might not be covered by your insurance provider. Be sure to contact your insurance provider to determine if a 3D mammogram is covered by your plan before deciding to make an appointment.

Up to 50% of women 40 years of age or older report having had a mammogram within the last year, according to a 2015 National Health Interview Survey. Mammography, be it 3D mammography or otherwise, can help spot breast cancer before it becomes a major issue. To learn more about 3D mammography or to get a second opinion on your breast biopsy results, contact Carolina Breast Imaging Specialists today.

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