The Advantages of Getting a 3-D Mammogram

(Originally Posted on Mar 10, 2015)

Women know how important it is to keep up with breast cancer screenings and self-breast exams. The earlier a potential problem is detected, the faster your doctor is able to access the size of the situation, and begin the process of removing the cancer. One of the latest advancements in the detection of breast cancer is the 3D mammography test (also known as Breast Tomosynthesis).

In 2011, the 3-D mammogram was approved by the US for breast cancer detection. Studies have shown that it has advantages over traditional methods. The difference that makes it so unique is that it takes multiple views at various angles to create a 3-D like image of the breast. This is great news for women getting tested. Here are some of the ways it will make our lives a little easier.

It is more detailed with an improved rate of detection. This newer test has given doctors a fantastic way to see the breast tissue, and the overall view of the internal breast is clearer and more detailed. This has improved the rate for finding cancer that is invasive, and this is the type that people worry about because it is the most lethal. Knowing that your doctor has the most advanced equipment will give you peace of mind when it’s time for you to visit.

There are less callbacks and nervous energy spent waiting by the phone. It is a terrible feeling to have a test done and have to wait for the results. It’s even harder when something is found, but it’s not certain what it is exactly. Now you have gotten a callback from your doctor, and it’s time for more tests. This is an incredibly stressful time for you and your family, and it shouldn’t be prolonged more than it needs to.

Studies have found that by testing with a 3-D mammogram, the number of callbacks from doctors have reduced due to the advanced breast imaging provided. Doctors are able to better identify the dangerous cancers from the ones that are not as likely to progress. This greatly reduces stress on your mind and body, and saves you time and money, since you will not have to go to unnecessary doctor appointments.

The approach is more sensitive. The 3-D test images are acquired at the same time as the 2-D so there is no additional squeezing or pressure applied. Going through any breast cancer screening process is already difficult. It’s easy to put off an appointment if you don’t like the procedure, and in general women tend to make sure everyone else in the family is going to the doctor, but they often forget, or push back appointments for themselves. Having a more gentle approach will give you the confidence to go ahead, make that appointment, and then keep it.

Because early detection is so important when preventing breast cancer, it’s crucial that you take your screenings seriously. At Palm Beach Obstetrics and Gynecology we understand that, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you. If you live near the Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, or Palm Beach Gardens, feel free to call us at (561) 434-0111.

Dr. Lorna Williams

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