3D Is The Wave Of The Future

3D is everywhere. We have 3D movies. We have 3D printers. How about a 3D mammogram? That’s right, 3D mammograms are here! I don’t just mean they exist, they are available at Summit Healthcare!

Don’t let the small town fool you, our hospital is very advanced. We have the latest and the greatest technology, including 3D mammography. We don’t want you to have to go elsewhere for your tests. We want to provide you with the most advanced testing right here at home.

The 3D mammogram is the newest technology for breast imaging. This technology can see through the breast tissue better, which is important if you have dense breast tissue. Forty percent of women have moderately dense breast tissue and another ten percent have extremely dense breast tissue. That’s half of us ladies!

What is dense tissue exactly? It means your breast is made up of tissue that is harder to see through. Breast cancers can sometimes be the same ‘color’ as dense breast tissue, making it easier to hide; having your regular mammogram greatly increases the odds of finding a breast cancer. If you have dense breast tissue, you may want to consider having a 3D mammogram.

Even if you don’t have dense breast tissue you can still benefit from a 3D mammogram. There are documented cases of breast cancers seen on 3D mammograms in fatty tissue that weren’t seen on a 2D mammogram. The 3D mammogram can be beneficial to all women.

A 3D mammogram is different from a 2D mammogram. Imagine an uncut loaf of bread as a 2D mammogram. The 3D mammogram is like a loaf of bread that is sliced. You can pull out the slices of bread and look at them individually. The 3D mammogram takes ‘slices’ of breast tissue, making it easier to tell what is just overlapping tissue. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the 3D mammogram increases breast cancer detection by 40% and reduces call back rates for unnecessary imaging by 15%.

Having a 3D mammogram is much like having a 2D mammogram. While the images are different, the compression is still the same. Compression makes it easier to see through the breast, making it an important part of all mammograms. The technologist will still position your breast and take pictures from different angles. You might notice that the pictures take just a few seconds longer, but that’s the only difference.

Prior to having a 3D mammogram, you may want to check with your insurance company about coverage. Some insurance companies pay for the 3D mammogram, such as Medicare (if eligible.) Please check with your insurance company to see if you are eligible for this great new technology. Even if your insurance isn’t yet paying for the 3D, Summit Healthcare is still offering it at a discounted price.

3D mammograms are FDA approved. More and more facilities are converting to 3D imaging. While the 2D mammogram is still acceptable, 3D imaging for dense breast tissue would be recommended.

If you have any questions about the 3D mammogram, feel free to call the Summit Healthcare Mammogram Department at 928-537-6589.

Written by:  Holly Rhoten, Summit Healthcare Women’s Imaging Department

Posted in: Uncategorized

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