What Are 3D Mammograms?
3D mammogram is the latest technology used by doctors to make breast cancer screening easy by creating a three-dimensional picture of the breast. The best thing about 3D mammograms is that they don't pose any serious risk, making it easier for women to get screened without any added fear.
3D mammography has revolutionized the screening methodology by making early cancer detection possible with accuracy.
Read on to find out about 3D mammograms, their benefits, and what they could mean for you in the long run.
1. What are 3D Mammograms?
3D mammograms are used to look for the cause of breast problems and early breast cancer detection.
3D mammograms, as the name implies, use X-rays to take multiple pictures of the breast tissues from different angles and then forming a clear and enlarged three-dimensional image of the breast, which can be viewed on a computer.
2. Benefits of 3D Mammograms
3D mammograms, being a risk-free procedure, have countless benefits such as:
Accuracy: 3D mammograms take multiple detailed pictures of the breast, making it easier for doctors to diagnose any abnormalities present in the breast accurately.
Early Detection: The detection of cancer in young women becomes quite tricky in traditional mammography since they have denser breast tissue.
3D mammograms solve this issue by providing doctors a bird's eye view of the abnormality. Early cancer detection gives women the freedom to choose from various treatment options that they consider best for themselves.
Safety: FDA has approved 3D mammograms, so they offer a safe procedure for cancer detection.
Unlike traditional mammography that exposes the body to more radiation, 3D mammograms reduce the radiation exposure, deeming itself safe to be used.
Reduced Anxiety: Another good thing about 3D mammograms is that they provide an accurate diagnosis by reducing the number of tests. This ultimately provides better results with no false outcomes or callbacks and makes a patient feel less anxious.
What Can 3D Mammograms Detect?
3D mammograms are not just limited to breast cancer detection. They can be used to detect various breast problems such as: breast pain, abnormal lumps, nipple discharge, and fibroadenomas.
Who Should Opt for 3D Mammograms?
Although anyone can get a 3D mammogram, it is more suitable for people who have a family history of breast cancer, see a visible change in their breast, women having dense breasts, or patients who require further assessment of breasts.
Difference between 2D Mammograms and 3D Mammograms
Both 2D and 3D Mammograms operate the same way by compressing the breast, but the result is a lot better in the case of 3D Mammograms.
The 2D mammograms produce two breast images, one from the side and one from the above, while 3D mammograms produce multiple images of the breast from every side and angle.
These multiple images are combined into a single three-dimensional image, which can be viewed on the computer and provides a clearer view of the breast to look for abnormalities quickly.
3D Mammograms Procedure
The 3D mammogram procedure is similar to that of 2D mammograms. It is advised not to wear any jewelry or metal objects at the testing center that might disrupt the screening.
The technician will ask you to stand in front of the X-Ray machine and gently place your breasts on a platform that will be raised to your height.
A plastic plate will compress your breast. The pressure would be applied for a few seconds to expand the breast tissue. Some women experience a little discomfort, but it is generally painless.
After the pressure has been applied, the 3D mammogram X-Ray machine will move from side to side taking three-dimensional pictures of your breast. The technician would advise you to hold your breath for a few seconds to obtain clear images.
Result of 3D Mammography
At the end of the procedure, the three-dimensional pictures would be viewed by the radiologist on the computer to detect any abnormality.
If an abnormality is detected, the radiologist would compare it with your previous mammograms and refer for further testing such as MRI or an ultrasound.
Therefore, it is advisable to opt for 3D mammography to provide you a quick diagnosis of breast problems.