About RAIBlog ArchiveThe Shocking Truths About Breast Cancer – How a 3D Mammogram Can Save Your Life

The Shocking Truths About Breast Cancer – How a 3D Mammogram Can Save Your Life


​Breast cancer is a serious health concern that does not discriminate against age or even gender. In fact, experts expect over 2,350 cases of breast cancer for men in the year 2015. For women especially, however, the risk is exponentially greater: about 12% of U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. To decrease the fatal outcomes of breast cancer, women are urged to get mammograms at least once a year. Although mammograms do not prevent cancer, they can save lives by detecting tumors or cancerous cells as early as possible.

The importance of mammograms cannot be stressed enough. According to mammographysaveslives.org, mammography has reduced breast cancer mortality by 1/3 since 1990 by catching the cancer early enough to administer the right treatments. Experts urge women to go in for yearly mammograms once they reach age 40, when the risk for breast cancer increases.

Mammograms can note changes in breasts, which can be used to detect cancer early; however, traditional mammograms are not perfect. Normal, healthy breast tissue can hide the cancerous tissue. To improve the accuracy, a breakthrough in mammogram technology has made it easier for physicians to detect cancer even earlier.

In conjunction with traditional (2-dimensional) mammograms, breast tomosynthesis uses a special approach to produce highly detailed images of the breast tissue to reveal any and all abnormalities. Also called 3D mammography, this type of exam uses radiology and a special x-ray arm to look even closer at every layer of breast tissue. The arm will pass along the curve of the breast to collect even more images in addition to those taken in the traditional exam.

As the name suggests, 3D mammography tomosynthesis uses a highly advanced computer software program to then generate a three-dimesional image of the inside of the breast for comprehensive examination. By generating a series of images from every angle on both the exterior and interior of the breast, doctors can better detect any abnormalities.

It’s important to note that while a 3D mammogram offers an improved image clarity over its 2D predecessor, some insurance providers consider 3D mammography “experimental” and may not cover the procedure. It is always best to check with your insurance provider to make sure this procedure is covered.

Experts estimate that over 231,000 cases of invasive breast cancer cases will be reported in the coming year. Utilizing the technology from both traditional and 3D mammography will help radiologists and oncologists detect cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages. Radiology imaging has taken mammogram technology to its most advanced stages. Mammography is our most powerful breast cancer detection tool and it should not be dismissed. Take advantage of our 3D mammography technology for a routine check that could save your life.

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