Conventional 2-dimensional (2D) mammography scans the entire breast in one exposure, resulting in a “flat” 2D picture in which features can be hidden by overlapping tissue. The 3-dimensional (3D) mammography available at Lutheran General Hospital, takes images from multiple angles and arranges these high resolution “slices” into a 3D image that can be manipulated in order to look through and around the breast structure in a powerful new way.
3D Mammography Offers:
- More accurate detection: By minimizing the impact of overlapping breast tissue, 3D mammography can make a tumor easier to see. Reviewing a 3D image has helped doctors find more cancers than with 2-D images alone, according to clinical experience cited by the FDA.
- Earlier diagnosis: Overlapping tissue can hide small cancers in a 2-dimensional scan. But with 3D mammography, the image “slices” can be taken apart and looked at, one-by-one. This means 3D mammography may help detect cancers earlier than conventional mammography.
- Better detection in dense breast tissue: Dense breast tissue, often found in younger women, can cause shadows – due to overlapping tissue – that hide tumors from traditional 2D mammography. 3D mammography takes images of the breast from multiple angles and arranges these individual views into a 3-demensional image that offers a cutting-edge look through and around breast tissue.
- Less Anxiety: 3D mammography can help reduce false alarms. The improved accuracy in diagnosing abnormal structures offered by a 3D view of the breast decreased the number of unnecessary callbacks to women for additional scans and biopsies.
- Safe and Effective: During a 3D mammogram, women will experience a minimal amount of additional radiation, compared with a standard mammogram. However, this dose is under the FDA-regulated limit for mammography, and no risk from an amount of radiation this small has been proven. The FDA studied the radiation issue before approving screening and diagnostic 3D mammography, and concluded that the benefits outweigh any potential risk.