An optional service for mammography patients, Tomosynthesis (3D Mammography) can offer better visualization for radiologists who are helping certain groups of patients—particularly those with dense breasts. This improvement in visualization can result in fewer callbacks and, thus, less anxiety for patients.  We’re thrilled to be able to offer 3D Mammography to our patients, but it’s important to remember that 2D digital mammography remains the gold standard for early detection and has been proven to reduce mortality from breast cancer in all age groups starting at age 40. Talk to your doctor today to find out if 3D mammography is right for you, and rest easy knowing that, either way, Optimal Imaging has you covered. To learn more about Tomosynthesis, continue to read below. 1 in 8 women will be affected by breast cancer. Call 904.381.9994 to schedule your mammogram today.

FACTS ABOUT 3D MAMMOGRAPHY/TOMOSYNTHESIS

  • The exam is performed on state-of-the-art digital equipment, which is able to obtain multiple low-dose images of a compressed breast from different angles.

  • The process is performed at the same time as a traditional 2D mammogram, on the same scanner with no noticeable difference in the experience or time expended for the patient.

  • While the breast is compressed for the standard 2D image, a second set of images is obtained to create a 3D image of the breast, allowing the radiologist to evaluate the breast tissue one “slice” at a time.

  • All women may benefit from tomosynthesis; however, there is increased benefit to women with dense breast tissue because dense breast tissue may look similar to cancer tissue.

  • Fine details are more clearly visible on a 3D mammogram. With a 2D mammogram, details can be hidden by the tissue above and below. With 3D, those obstructions are minimized and breast abnormalities such as masses, distortion and asymmetric densities may be seen more clearly.

  • Tomosynthesis is an optional service for the patient, which supplements the traditional mammographic images. It is not yet covered by insurance and will require a small flat fee at the time of service.

IS TOMSYNTHESIS (3D MAMMOGRAPHY) BETTER?

Tomosynthesis is an optional service for the patient, which supplements the conventional mammographic images. While 2D digital mammography remains the gold standard for early detection 3D images can offer better visualization for radiologists who are helping certain groups of patients—particularly those with dense breasts, which is determined by a prior mammogram.

For example, if a 2D mammogram shows an area of concern, radiologists may want to further investigate with a diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound or biopsy. Looking at the same breast tissue in 3D, the radiologist may now see that the tissue is in fact normal breast tissue that was simply overlapping in the 2D mammogram, creating the illusion of an abnormal area. In this scenario, the patient would likely have avoided a callback for an additional mammogram by utilizing tomosynthesis in the first place.

WHO SHOULD CONSIDER TOMOSYNTHESIS (3D MAMMOGRAPY)

All women may benefit from tomosynthesis; however, the benefit is greatest in women with dense breast tissue, because it can mask cancers and/or lead to false positives.

 

How do you know if you have dense breasts?
Density refers to breasts with more glandular and connective tissue than fat—not breast firmness—so a mammogram is the only way to find out about density. You can either:

§  Speak with your physician. If you have had a prior mammogram, your primary care provider will have a report on record that would indicate your breast density, or

§  Speak with your mammography provider. If you have had a prior mammogram, your mammography provider will have a report on record that would indicate your breast density.

IS THERE MORE RADIATION?

The radiation dose is approximately the same for tomosynthesis as it is for 2D mammography. So the radiation is roughly doubled when doing a 2D mammogram along with tomosynthesis. Even this combined dose is still below the FDA-regulated limit for 2D mammography and has been found by the FDA to be safe and effective for patient use.

DOWNLOAD THE 3D MAMMOGRAPHY FAQ