3D Mammography Screening and Diagnostic

Doctors and scientists agree that early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. If we find cancer in its earliest stages, the chances of surviving it are good. Until now, the best way to do that has been with digital mammography. While digital mammography is still one of the most advanced technologies available today, it has some limitations because it only provides a two-dimensional picture of the breast. The confusion of overlapping tissue is a leading reason why small breast cancers may be missed and normal tissue may appear abnormal, leading to unnecessary call backs.

3D mammography (Digital Breast Tomosynthesis) is a revolutionary screening and diagnostic tool designed for early breast cancer detection that is done in conjunction with a traditional 2D digital mammogram. 3D mammography gives the radiologist the ability to identify and characterize individual breast structures without the confusion of overlapping tissue. 

There are two kinds of mammography, screening and diagnostic. Screening mammography is used to look for breast changes in women having no signs or symptoms of an abnormality. A routine or screening mammogram usually requires two views of each breast.

Diagnostic mammography is used when a woman consults with her doctor because of breast changes such as lumps, pain, nipple discharge, thickening or unusual changes in the size or shape of her breasts. Diagnostic mammography is a digital exam of the breasts that is performed in order to evaluate a breast complaint or abnormality detected by physical exam or routine screening mammography. A diagnostic mammogram may be ordered by a physician if a change has been detected in your breasts. Diagnostic mammography is different from screening mammography in that additional views of the breast are usually taken, as opposed to two views typically taken with screening mammography. Before a patient leaves after having a digital diagnostic mammogram, one of our dedicated breast radiologist will discuss the results of the test.

How to prepare for a Mammogram

An Order from Your Healthcare Provider is required to perform your exam. 

  • Avoid scheduling your mammogram during the week before your period, especially if you have a tendency to feel tenderness during this time. Generally, the week after your period is the best time to schedule a mammogram.
  • Discuss any new findings or problems in your breasts with your doctor, as well as any prior surgeries, hormone use or family history of breast cancer.
  • Take note of any symptoms you are feeling and describe them to the technologist.
  • It is important to notify the technologist of your breast history information including prior surgeries, hormone use, or family history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
  • Obtain prior mammograms, if possible, for the radiologist to compare with the new images.
  • Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam. Often these products can appear on the mammogram and simulate calcium deposits.
  • Before the exam, you will be asked to remove clothing from the waist up. You will be asked to wear a gown that opens in the front
  • If you have breast implants, please let us know when you make your appointment. We will need to schedule enough time for your exam.

How do I get my results?

One of our dedicated breast radiologists will interpret your exam. The report will be sent to your physician’s office. We provide you with written results of your mammogram via mail.