Recently in our blog, we posted about how a large study showed the benefits of adding 3D mammography (also called breast tomosynthesis) to regular mammography. In this blog post, we answer a few questions about 3D mammography.

Q: Who might benefit from adding 3D mammography to their traditional mammogram?
A:  All women could potentially benefit from 3D mammography since it has been shown to increase cancer detection while lowering the risk of false-positive results. However, it appears that women with dense breasts may see the most benefits. A recent Yale study found that women with extremely dense breasts had a 57% reduction in being called back for additional testing when 3D mammography was used. Younger women also had reduced call back rates when 3D mammography was used.

Q: Does 3D mammography replace my regular mammogram?
A: No. 3D mammography is an add-on to your regular mammogram. It allows physicians to see a
3-dimensional view of your breast tissue and helps them to identify even very tiny tumors.

Q: Will there be more compression necessary to get the 3D images?
A. No! Your breast will be under the same amount of pressure as during a regular mammogram. The X-ray tube makes an 8-second arc over your breasts, while 15 low-dose images are taken from various angles. These images are then put into a special computer program that creates the 3D images.

Q: Is there more radiation exposure from adding 3D to my regular mammogram?
A: Yes, however the radiation exposure is still well below FDA levels. Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology is committed to using the lowest dose of radiation possible by utilizing state-of-the-art technology to reduce radiation exposure.  We also participate in the Image Wisely program to eliminate unnecessary scans and lower radiation doses.

Q: How specifically could 3D mammography benefit women with dense breasts?
A:  In a mammogram, fatty tissue shows up dark, while dense breast tissue shows up white. Unfortunately, potentially cancerous spots also show up white, making them harder to spot in dense breasts. 3D imaging creates pictures of millimeter-thin slices of breast tissue, helping radiologists to see through overlapping tissue and better identify potential cancers. Radiologists end up seeing 70 to 100 views of each breast, rather than just two images using conventional mammography. More views equals more accurate images which means better diagnoses.

Q: Which Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology locations offer 3D mammography?
A:  ZPR is pleased to offer 3D mammography at all of our locations, except East Setauket.

If you have any questions about 3D mammography, feel free to email us!