Mammograms are the imaging test of choice for women and its simple to see why. Mammography is important because it helps catch breast cancer before symptoms appear which can help increase success rates. There are various women’s imaging scans to choose from, including two type of mammograms. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between 3D-mammography and traditional mammography.
Mammography utilizes x-rays to look closely at breast tissue and spot any cancerous cells. Since these low-dose x-rays do not travel through tissue easily, the breasts are compressed between two plates to give a better image of the breasts and use less radiation.
This breast exam is useful because it can show signs of breast cancer is women who may not be experiencing any symptoms and sensing any lumps. Breast screenings use traditional mammograms to look for signs of breast cancer, while diagnostic mammograms can screen women with symptoms or that have been previously diagnosed with breast cancer by using extra views.
As mammography has evolved, 3D mammograms have become a new tool that radiologists can use when looking for breast cancer. Breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography, use many x-rays while moving over the breast. Through computer technology, radiologists can create a 3D image of the breast as opposed to a 2D image that traditional mammograms create.
Studies show that 3D mammograms have a lower chance of needing to retest patients. Along with lower call-back rates, 3D mammography has been linked to finding more cancers in the breast. 3D Mammography has shown to reduce the number of false positives that often occur in 2D mammograms.
Which Is Best For Me?
Since 3D mammograms are relatively new to the radiology world, they’re not as readily available to patients. Also, not all insurances cover this breast procedure. If you are at high risk for breast cancer, consult your doctor to see if 3D mammography is for you.
Traditional mammograms are the imaging test of choice for breast cancer, and we are the first to promote the importance of breast screenings. The best way to spread breast cancer awareness is by being proactive about your breast health and undergoing mammograms. We hope you learned more about the mammogram options available to you.