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3D Mammography Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there a need for tomosynthesis breast exams? What are the benefits?
With conventional digital mammography, the radiologist is viewing all the complexities of your breast tissue in one flat image. Sometimes breast tissue can overlap, giving the illusion of normal breast tissue looking like an abnormal area.
By also looking at the breast tissue in one millimeter slices, the radiologist can provide a more accurate exam. In this way, 3D mammography finds 40% more invasive cancer missed with conventional 2D mammography. It also means there is less chance your doctor will call you back later for a “second look,” because now they can see breast tissue more clearly.
What is the difference between a screening and diagnostic mammogram?
A screening mammogram is your annual mammogram that is done every year. Sometimes the radiologist may ask you to come back for follow-up images which is called a diagnostic mammogram to rule out an unclear area in the breast or if there is a breast complaint that needs to be evaluated.
What should I expect during the 3D mammography exam?
3D mammography complements standard 2D mammography and is performed at the same time with the same system. There is no additional compression required, and it only takes a few more seconds longer for each view.
Is there more radiation dose?
Very low X-ray energy is used during the exam, just about the same amount as a traditional mammogram done on film.
Who can have a 3D mammography exam?
It is approved for all women who would be undergoing a standard mammogram, in both the screening and diagnostic settings.
Related Information and Helpful Links
- Mammogram Mayo Foundation for Clinical Education and Research.
- Mammograms & Breast Health: An Information Guide for Women Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – PDF
- Mammography American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America
- Frequently Asked Questions about Digital Mammography Food and Drug Administration
- Breast Ultrasound MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
- Stereotactic (Mammographically Guided) Breast Biopsy RadiologyInfo.org
- American College of Radiology: http://www.acr.org/
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: www.acog.org
- Radiology Information: www.radiologyinfo.org
- Society of Breast Imaging: http://www.sbi-online.org/
- What You Need to Know about Breast Cancer Screenings WDSU News Channel – Youtube
- Breast Tissue Biopsy Nucleus Animation – Youtube
- Breast Cancer Screening (Mammograms) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- Factors Influencing Declines in Breast Cancer Mortality National Cancer Institute
- Faster Tumor Growth Rate Proof Younger Women Need Yearly Mammograms American Cancer Society
- Mammogram Recall Rates After Stopping Hormone Therapy American College of Physicians – PDF
- Study Shows Mammography Reminders Work American Cancer Society