3D Mammography

Also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, 3D mammography is an advanced imaging technique used for breast cancer screening and detection. The tomosynthesis (or 3D mammography) produces multiple images of the breast from different angles, allowing for a more detailed and accurate assessment of breast tissue. 

3D mammography can detect breast abnormalities at an early stage, improving the chances of successful treatment. Whether you’d like to perform this test to monitor your health or for a specific screening, Grand Forks Clinic can help you.

Why are 3D mammograms needed?

3D mammograms are screening tests used to identify any signs of breast cancer in women with no symptoms. It is essentially a set of X-rays that provide a detailed three-dimensional picture, ensuring precise diagnoses. 

The 3D mammogram is a very accurate test, thus reducing the need for follow-up imaging and delivering quick results. Also, it can identify more cancers than a standard mammogram, improving early detection.

How often should you get a 3D mammography?

According to the American Cancer Society, women should start annual breast cancer screening at age 40. Those older than 55 may continue with yearly mammograms or have them every two years as long as they are in good health. 

If you notice any breast changes or have a breast cancer family history, talk to your doctor about the best way to proceed.

What should I expect from a 3D mammography?

Preparing for a 3D Mammography

Before your mammography screening, our doctors will evaluate your health thoroughly. This will include a discussion about your medical history, symptoms or changes in your breast tissue, and the history of cancer in your immediate family. 

Next, you can schedule the test for the week after your menstrual cycle since this is usually when your breasts are least tender. 

Please remember to bring your reports from any prior mammograms. On the day of your mammogram, avoid using deodorants, lotions, powders, or perfumes under your arms or breasts since this could interfere with the imaging. 

During a 3D Mammography

During the scan, you will be given a gown and asked to remove any metal accessories or jewelry from the waist up. Each side of your breast is imaged separately.

When you’re ready, the technician will correctly position one side on a platform and adjust the machine to your height. Pressure will be applied for a few seconds to ensure all the breast tissue is correctly captured in the digital image. 

This step can be uncomfortable but is not usually painful. However, if you do feel pain, make sure to tell your technician right away. 

You may also be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds to avoid movement. Once imaging is complete on one side, the process is repeated on the other breast.

Are there any risks related to 3D mammograms?

A 3D mammogram is a safe and non-invasive procedure that takes about 30 minutes. You can return to regular activities after your test. 

Some minimum risks and limitations are involved during mammography:

  • Exposure to mild radiation: 3D Mammograms use multiple X-rays to create a detailed image of the breast, increasing the level of radiation used in a standard mammogram. 
  • False-positive results: The test may sometimes wrongly identify normal tissue as an abnormality.
  • Screening limitations: It is possible that the screening doesn’t detect a specific area of cancer if it is very small or difficult to access.

3D Mammography Results

3D Mammography results will be electronically collected and analyzed by one of our expert radiologists. These are usually available two weeks after your screening. 

If any abnormalities are detected, they will guide you on the next steps. This may include an MRI or a biopsy to gather more information about any suspicious body tissue the test may reveal.

Breast Cancer Screening & Prevention at Grand Forks Clinic

Early detection of breast cancer can mean the difference between life and death. Women who have regular mammograms have a lower chance of cancer complications since treatment at an early stage may avoid the need for chemotherapy. 

At Grand Forks Clinic, we understand that prevention is the best long-term strategy to control your health. 

We strive to deliver precise and personalized evaluations, ensuring the highest quality of care for your health. To schedule a 3D Mammography or other imaging services, call us at (701) 775-5800 or request an appointment online.

Grand Forks Clinic
5750 S Washington St
Grand Forks, ND 58201

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