What is a 3D mammography?
3D mammography is a new technology in the fight against breast cancer that allows doctors to examine your breast tissue one layer at a time. 3D mammography uses high-powered computing to convert digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or "slices"- building what is essentially a "3-dimensional mammogram". A good analogy for 3D mammography is like thinking of the pages in a book. If you look down at the cover you cannot see all of the pages- but when you open it up, you can go through the entire book page-by-page to see everything between the covers. 3D mammography is designed with the same concept in mind. Very low X-ray energy is used during the screening examination so your radiation exposure is below the FDA guidelines. Using 3D mammography and digital mammography together for screening has been proven to significantly reduce "call-backs" by 20-40%. In addition, 3D mammography finds cancer earlier than 2D mammography alone, with a 27% increase in cancer detection and a 40% increase in invasive cancer detection.
3D mammography may also be used during a diagnostic mammogram if you happen to be called back for this type of exam.
Why is there a need for 3D mammography breast exams? What are the benefits?
With conventional digital mammography, the radiologist is viewing all the complexities of your breast tissue in a one flat image. Sometimes breast tissue can overlap, giving the illusion of normal breast tissue looking like an abnormal area.
By looking at the breast tissue in one millimeter slices, the radiologist can provide a more confident assessment. In this way, 3D mammography finds cancer missed with conventional 2D mammography. It also means there is less chance your doctor will call you back later for a "second look", because now they can see breast tissue more clearly.
What is the difference between a screening and diagnostic mammogram?
A screening mammogram is your annual mammogram that is done every year, sometimes the radiologist may ask you to come back for follow-up images which is called a diagnostic mammogram to rule out an unclear area in the breast or if there is a breast complaint that needs to be evaluated.
What should i expect during the 3D mammography exam?
3D mammography complements standard 2D mammography and is performed at the same time with the same system. There is no additional compression required, and it only takes a few more seconds longer for each view.
Is there more radiation dose?
Very low X-ray energy is used during the exam, just about the same amount as a traditional mammogram done on film.
Who can have a 3D mammography exam?
It is approved for all women who would be undergoing a standard mammogram, in both the screening and diagnostic settings.
Where do I set up an appointment for a 3D mammography exam?
Moffitt Cancer Center Screening and Prevention
Moffitt Cancer Center Screening and Prevention is a separate facility from Moffitt Cancer Center and is located at 4117 E. Fowler Avenue in Tampa.