What is breast tomosynthesis or 3D mammography?
Breast tomosynthesis converts a stack of digital breast images into a “3-dimensional mamogram” so that the radiologist can see breast tissue detail in a way that is not possible with 2D mammograms. Fine details are more clearly visible, and are no longer hidden by the tissue above and below, but a 3D mammogram takes substantially more physician time to interpret the images so many facilities limit 3D mammography to patients with existing findings or certain risk factors.
Here are HerSpace, we believe that all patients benefit from 3D mammography starting at their first visit.
Research shows that 3D mammography detects 27% more cancers than traditional 2D mammography alone, and detects 40% more for invasive cancers like lobular breast cancer. Since the breast is composed of pockets of dense tissue surrounded by fat, when x-rayed, it creates an image that can look something like a smoky haze. The overlapping tissue in the image makes it difficult to see tiny “spots” called microcalcifications, and other subtle signs of early cancer.
Is there any difference in the experience of having a 3D mammogram?
A breast tomosynthesis exam is very similar to a traditional mammogram. The technologist will position you, compress your breast under a paddle and take images from different angles. A breast tomosynthesis exam may be used as a screening tool in conjunction with a traditional digital mammogram or may be used for a diagnostic mammogram.