3-D mammography allows doctors to examine your breast tissue one layer at a time. A 3-D mammography exam may be used as a screening tool in conjunction with a traditional digital mammogram or may be used by itself for a diagnostic mammogram.
A 3-D mammogram is very similar to a traditional, 2-D, or digital mammogram. Just like with a digital mammogram, the technologist will position you, compress your breast under a paddle and take images from different angles.
During the exam, the x-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple breast images in just seconds. The radiologist is then able to view your breast tissue in one-millimeter layers. Instead of viewing all the complexities of your breast tissues on one flat image, the doctor can examine the tissue one page or slice at a time.
There is no additional compression required with 3-D mammography, and it only takes a few seconds longer for each view. The technologist will view the images at their computer workstation to ensure they have captured adequate images for review by a radiologist, who studies them and reports to your physician. Very low x-ray energy is used during the screening examination, so your radiation exposure is below the FDA guidelines.
A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women. Mammograms make it possible to detect tumors that cannot yet be felt as well as microcalcifications (tiny calcium deposits) that can sometimes indicate the presence of cancer.
Digital Screening Mammography with computer aided detection (CAD) is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine breasts and detect abnormal changes in breast tissue. The advanced technology of CAD has the ability to detect breast cancer in the early stages.
This type of routine mammogram is for women who have no signs or symptoms of an abnormality.
Do not wear deodorant, powder or cream on your breasts or underarms the day of your exam as these may interfere with the quality of your mammogram. If possible, it is preferable to wear a two-piece outfit.
If you have sensitive breasts, scheduling your mammogram between the 7th and 10th day following the onset of your most recent menstrual period may be beneficial, as this is the time your breasts will be least tender.
Inform your doctor and technologist of any new problems with your breasts, prior surgeries, hormone use, and family or personal history of breast cancer.
Inform your doctor and technologist if there is any possibility that you are pregnant.