3D Mammography

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Molly Hester, MD, Baptist Health Lexington – A mammogram is a low dose X-ray of the breast, and the American Cancer Society recommends that all women age 40 and over should have an annual mammogram.

A mammogram is a low dose X-ray of the breast, and the American Cancer Society recommends that all women age 40 and over should have an annual mammogram. Breast tomosynthesis or 3D mammographic imaging is definitely a game changer. This is a modality that allows the radiologist to look through the breast in one millimeter slices and that’s very important especially in women with dense breast tissue.

Studies have shown it has a 30 to 40% increase in cancer detection rate. It has also decreased our cancer screening recall rate. So 20 to 40% fewer patients will be recalled from screened mammography which is very important in reducing patient anxiety. The experience is not much different than receiving your usual digital screening mammography. You’re in compression for about four seconds longer but you are not compressed any more frequently than the usual mammogram. You will have two separate breath-holds during that compression. The first breath-hold for their 3D image and the second for their 2D image.

3D mammographic imaging is something that our patients are very interested in. They are seeing as well as we are seeing the significant changes 3D imaging has made for our patients. They want us to be able to find those cancers that are hiding.