3D Mammograms Offer More Detailed View of Breast Tissue, Increase Cancer Detection

Health Minute

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A new type of mammogram has been found to reduce false positive results – something looks like cancer turns out to not be cancer – and to increase the cancer detection rate of women being screened. And, Premier Health is the first health system in the Dayton region to offer this service.

A traditional 2D mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast, according to the National Cancer InstituteOff Site Icon (NCI). This type of mammogram takes two X-ray images of each breast, according to the NCI.Mammograms are images taken of the breasts to check for breast cancer.

The images make it possible to find tumors that might not be able to be felt, according to the NCI. They also can detect tiny calcium deposits called microcalcifications that sometimes indicate breast cancer is present.

The newer 3D mammography (called tomosynthesis), however, has recently been found to significantly improve the chances of finding breast cancer.

While a 2D mammogram takes 4 total images, a 3D mammogram takes 15 images, giving a more complete view of the breast tissue and eliminating overlapping areas, according to Baylor College of MedicineOff Site Icon (BCM).

Once the images are taken, a computer is used to reconstruct the image to give a clearer visual of the breast tissue, according to the NCI. This 3D mammogram technology can benefit all women, but especially women with dense breast tissue that can make it more difficult for breast abnormalities to be seen in a traditional 2D mammogram.

The results of a study of about 24,000 women at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital recently were published in The Journal of the American Medical AssociationOff Site Icon publication JAMA OncologyOff Site Icon. The study compared the two types of cancer screenings over a four-year period.

The study found that with 3D mammograms:

  • fewer women were called back for rechecks
  • more cancer cases were found in women called back for rechecks

And this new mammography option also has significantly improved the detection of invasive cancers, according to BMC.

Premier Physician Network’ (PPN) breast care services include care for benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) breast conditions with procedures that include:

For more information about 3D mammography, talk with your doctor, visit the Premier Health 3D Mammography page.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.