In March 2011, a Boston woman became the first in the country to have a new kind of mammogram – one that uses 3D technology. Conventional 2D mammogram technology takes a single flattened image of the breast tissue. The recent advances in digital imaging devices and software allow these innovative mammography tools to create a 3D rendering of the breast, making it easier for doctors to detect early-stage cancer.
3D Mammograms – Worth the Extra Cost
During my annual health exam, my physician told me about the new 3D mammography and its potential to increase the chances of early detection and more accurate diagnoses. Although my health insurance didn’t cover the use of 3D mammography, I opted to use it anyway. I ended up paying an extra $50.00 out of pocket, but the peace of mind I got made the additional expense well worth it.
A 3D Win for Women
Studies found that when compared to the traditional 2D image, the 3D technology significantly increases the likelihood of physicians correctly distinguishing between benign and cancerous masses seen in the breast tissue. This new, 3D tool will help reign in costs too; the high clarity images will reduce the number of women called back due to imaging limitations of the 2D technology.
Here are the benefits of 3D rendering:
- Earlier cancer detection
- Greater accuracy in sizing, morphology, and localization of abnormal masses
- Reduced incidence of call backs for additional testing (i.e., biopsy)
- Higher chance of detecting multiple breast tumors
Sharing is Caring
My doctor told me that a 3D mammogram caught an early- stage cancerous mass in one of her patients that the old technology would have missed for another year. Under 2D technology screening, the woman’s cancer would have reached a more dangerous stage, requiring chemotherapy or a combination of more radical treatments.
Why do I want to share this with you? This is an important topic to me. Why not take preventative measures and take advantage of this technological advancement? If you’re interested in using this new technology, or suggesting a loved one use it, please contact your physician for a professional opinion on 3D mammography.