A 3D Mammogram Provides Your Doctor With Enhanced Images For Evaluating Breast Health

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If you're at the age where you have regular mammograms, you may want to consider having a 3D mammogram the next time you have the test done. A 3D test provides your doctor with more images that can be used to examine the health of your breasts. Here's how a 3D mammogram is done and the reasons you may want to have the test.

The 3D Mammogram Procedure

If you've had traditional mammograms in the past, then you probably won't notice any difference in the way a 3D test is taken. It might last a bit longer, but the procedure is the same. Your breast is compressed between X-ray plates and the machine takes images of your breast tissue. A traditional 2D test is done at the same time you have the 3D test, and they both use the same machine. A 3D mammogram provides a three-dimensional image of your breasts along with several images from different angles so the doctor interpreting the results has much more information to work with than with just a single 2D image.

The Reasons To Have A 3D Mammogram

Because of the better images your doctor has of your breasts, there could be a lower risk of a false positive reading. When a mammogram has a positive result, you usually have to have the test repeated, but that may be avoided when the doctor has 3D images, which can save you a lot of stress and worry. This is even more beneficial if you have dense breast tissue. Areas of dense tissue show up the same as cancerous growths since both appear as solid white spots on the X-ray. The 3D images allow the doctor to view suspicious spots more closely and from different angles to determine if they are normal breast tissue or possible growths.

One thing to know about 3D mammograms is that they aren't covered by some insurance policies. Before you have the test done, talk to your insurance company to see if they will pay, and if not, find out how much it will cost for you to self-pay for the test. Also, you'll need to find a center that has the equipment needed for 3D mammograms. While traditional 2D mammograms provide your doctor with a view of your breast tissue, the 3D version provides enhanced images that could help your doctor make a more informed evaluation of your breast health.

A 3D mammogram can be used for breast cancer screening as well as for diagnostic reasons. If you're unsure if you should have a 2D or 3D test, then talk to your doctor about the benefits of getting a 3D mammogram and if you should have one.

Reach out to a center such as Hudson Valley Imaging to learn more.