Health Library

What is a 3D Mammogram?

Every year in October, the world observes the Breast Cancer Awareness month, and for good reasons. Breast cancer is one of the most generally occurring cancers in females. According to Breastcancer.org, about 1 in every 8 U.S. women, becomes a victim of invasive breast cancer throughout her life. By the end of 2020, around 276,480 new breast cancer cases are expected to be seen in the U.S. To avoid the severe consequences of breast cancer, its timely diagnosis and treatment are crucial. 3D Mammogram is the technology that serves this purpose.

What is a 3D Mammogram?

A 3D mammogram is the FDA-approved modern technology that captures X-rays or multiple images of breast tissue to re-form a 3-dimensional image of the breast. It is often called breast tomosynthesis. Unlike traditional mammography that captures only a single image, a 3D mammogram is more effective in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment due to its ability to take multiple 3D breast images. These images provide doctors and healthcare practitioners a clear image of the breast masses, making it easier to diagnose breast cancer.

How does it work?

In the 3D mammography imaging procedure, an X-ray flows in an arc over the breast, capturing various breast images from different angles. These images are processed by a computer into thin (around 1 mm) images to view the tumors easily. The radiologists can review around 200-300 images through this procedure, compared to just four obtained from a traditional 2D mammogram.

Who should go for a 3D mammogram?

The best thing about the 3D mammogram procedure is that any woman having breast screening needs can go for it. Women having dense breast tissue can especially benefit from a 3D mammogram since it delivers a clearer picture.

3D Mammogram is also helpful to make early breast cancer detection possible. It is even helpful in catching more cancers. It helps doctors view the cancer size in a much better way than that on a traditional mammogram. Eventually, it decreases the possibilities of the doctors viewing a false positive.

3D Mammogram – What Experts Say?

According to experts, a 3D mammogram is the best technology currently available to do breast cancer screening. Dr. Onalisa Winblad, MD, a breast radiologist at the University of Kansas Cancer Center in Kansas City, says that screening through a 3D mammogram gives the best possibility to detect breast cancers even when these are tiny and treatable. She also affirmed that if we detect breast cancers at the stage when these are small, not just can more lives be saved but also women would not have to undergo extensive therapies and surgeries. Dr. Onalisa Winblad has suggested that women should have a 3D mammogram every year as soon as they enter their 40s. This 3D screening regiment has the potential to save the most lives.

Final Thoughts

The 3D mammogram has proven to be a highly effective procedure to diagnose breast cancers at the earliest stages. It is a short process with no discomfort and is suitable for women of all ages. Women after 40s should go for it once a year.

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