If you are a female who is over the age of 50, it is recommended that you obtain a mammogram every two years to screen for signs of breast cancer. While this is a change from the previous recommendation that women start getting mammograms every year at the age of 40, this is not the only update or advancement. Mammograms are now completed in many places through a 3D mammography process. If you are obtaining a repeat mammogram and this will be the first one you have had done in 3D, it is likely that you have a few questions.
What is a 3D mammogram?
When you go for a 3D mammogram, much of the process will remain the same. The imaging machine will take snapshot x-rays of your breasts. However, with a 3D imaging mammography machine, there will be a series of x-rays taken during the process of the mammogram from varying directions. This enables radiologists to take a look at the inside of your breast in small sliced sections to get a better look at potential problems or as a whole.
Can all patients obtain a 3D mammogram?
Anyone who has access to a radiologist who has a 3D mammography machine can get a 3D mammogram. The emitted radiology during the test is minimal, much the same as a traditional mammogram, and the test only takes slightly longer to complete in most cases.
What is the difference between 3D mammograms and 2D mammograms?
During a 2D mammogram, there are x-ray images taken of the breast from a two-dimensional view. This gives radiologist a look at the breast tissue inside, but it is not completely a thorough view. While a 2D mammogram is still one of the most effective tools to help determine if there are concerns, a 3D mammogram gives a more in-depth look. This means that 3D mammography machines may be able to better detect the presence of nodules and lumps that are just starting to form when a 2D machine may not.
Do you have to get a 3D mammogram as often as you would a traditional mammogram?
Even though the 3D mammogram gives radiologists a closer look at breast tissue, it is still a good idea to have your screening done every two years. Changes in the shape of your breasts and the development of cancerous growth can happen rapidly, so it is always best to be checked regularly.
For more information about the process or benefits of a 3D mammogram, visit websites like http://www.evdi.com.