Published on April 12, 2018

3D Mammography™ Exams and Why You Should Have One

By Denise White, Manager of Radiology Services at Genesis Medical Center, Silvis

As a woman, I understand that having a mammogram can be a really anxious process. But, as both a woman and a manager of radiology services, I know that getting a mammogram is very important.

3D mammographyBecause I’m approaching the age of fifty, I’ve had a few routine mammograms here and there. I’ve always followed the American Cancer Society’s guideline to have a mammogram every year and started having them as soon as I turned forty. I’m always glad to get it done and get the results back, which have been normal so far.

I have been called back for additional views a couple of times, but it ended up being nothing to worry about. Even though I don’t have a family history of breast cancer, I still feel a little anxious about the results each year. A lot of people don’t know that you don’t have to have a family history to get breast cancer.

Here are some other facts about breast cancer that you might not be aware of:

  1. There are over 200,000 cases of breast cancer reported every year
  2. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime
  3. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women worldwide
  4. But the good news is deaths from breast cancer have been declining since 1990
  5. And with early detection and treatment, most can continue living a healthy life

SOURCE: National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

3D Mammography™ Technology, a.k.a. Tomosynthesis

I used to assume that I would get exactly the same quality mammogram on the same type of machine wherever I went, but that’s not exactly true.

3D mammography, also known as 3D tomosynthesis, is an advanced form of imaging with improved clarity and accuracy. It's available at Genesis, including at the Genesis Center for Breast Health in Silvis.

I asked my doctor and the x-ray tech to explain the benefits of this 3D Mammography™ exam, to which they gave me a simple reply: “It’s the most accurate mammogram available”.

They explained that it’s the biggest breakthrough in breast cancer detection in the last 30 years, and it can detect up to 41 percent more breast cancers. It also reduces the number of women being called back for additional views by up to 40 percent.

How It Works

It’s basically the same digital exam as it has been for the past ten years, but now includes the camera making a short sweeping motion during the picture. Once completed, the digital picture is divided into multiple slices that can be spread out and looked at individually. It’s like a loaf of sliced bread with each individual slice being a picture of breast tissue that can be looked at in detail for anything suspicious.

As a result, 3D Mammography™ technology gives the radiologist approximately 60 slices to look at compared to four with standard 2D mammography, making it much harder for those small cancers to hide out.

For me, both as a woman and someone who’s educated about imaging and its lifesaving benefits, having 3D Mammography™ exam at Genesis is amazing. I am so happy for our patients and fellow women that will have peace-of-mind in knowing that they are getting the most accurate test technology can offer.

If you’re interested in having a 3D Mammography™ exam, you can request your appointment right now. Just fill out the form below and someone from our scheduling department will be in contact with you ASAP.

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