We’re excited to let you know that we now offer 3D mammography. This extraordinary technology lets WIS radiologists see breast tissue in a way never before possible. Learn more about 3D mammograms and why they are one of the most important advancements in breast cancer detection in over 30 years.
What is a 3D Mammography?
3D captures multiple slices of breast images, all at different angles. The images are brought together to create crystal-clear 3D reconstruction of the breast. The radiologist is then able to review the reconstruction, one thin slice at a time, almost like turning pages in a book. That makes it easier for doctors to see if there’s anything to be concerned about. And, there’s less chance for a cancer to hide behind overlapping tissue.
What to expect during your exam.
A 3D mammography exam is very similar to a traditional mammogram. Just as with a digital mammogram, the technologist will position you, compress your breast under a paddle and take images from different angles. A 3D mammography exam may be used as a screening tool in conjunction with a traditional digital mammogram or may be used by itself for a diagnostic mammogram.
During the 3D mammography part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple breast images in just seconds. Your doctor is then able to view your breast tissue in one millimeter layers. Instead of viewing all the complexities of your breast tissue in one flat image, the doctor can examine the tissue one page or “slice” at a time.
There is no additional compression required with 3D mammography, and it only takes a few seconds longer for each view. The technologist will view the images at their computer work station to ensure they have captured adequate images for view by a radiologist, who studies them and reports the results directly to you.
Why is having a yearly mammogram important?
Mammography can show an abnormality up to two years before it could be felt by yourself or a physician. It is recommended by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and American Cancer Society (ACS) to have a yearly mammogram, beginning at age 40 for women at average risk of breast cancer.
The best way to battle breast cancer is through early detection, when the cancers are the most curable and breast conservation therapies are available. The stage which breast cancer is detected influences a woman’s survival, if detected early the five-year survival rate is 97%.
How should I prepare?
Please remember to bring your prescription and insurance card with you on the day of your appointment. You may be asked to remove jewelry or eye glasses that might interfere with the x-ray.
You should ALWAYS inform your doctor if there is even a possibility of you being pregnant. You should not wear deodorant, powder, lotion, or perfume under your arms or on you breast on the day of the exam.