Three Dimensional (3D)
All patients are suitable for our 3D Mammography.
Detecting breast cancers when they are small and treatable is proven to reduce deaths from breast cancer.
What is 3D Mammography?
Also called breast tomosynthesis or simply “Tomo” is an advanced form of mammography which involves taking images of the breast in slices. This allows separation of overlapping structures and therefore reduces the ability of breast cancer to “hide” behind other pieces of normal tissue.
What is the benefit?
3D Mammography has been shown in multiple trials to:
- Detects more invasive breast cancers across all breast densities
- Reduces the likelihood that you will be recalled for additional workup after your mammogram
What will I experience?
The experience is very similar to having your normal mammogram. The level of compression is the same and the length of time for the mammogram is approximately the same.
The main difference is that, during your mammogram, the X-ray tube will move over your head. At St. Marks we currently provide a “combo” study. This means we will take your normal 2D mammogram plus an extra 2 3D Mammogram sequences. The normal 2D study allows accurate comparison with your previous mammogram plus is better at detecting and assessing calcification. The 3D Mammogram sequences will improve detection of masses and distortions. The radiation dose in a combined study (2D plus 2 MLO 3D views) is higher than with a standard 2D mammogram, but still well within acceptable limits.
What is the cost?
There is an additional charge for 3D Mammography above and beyond the cost of your routine mammogram which may not be covered by Health Insurance. Our booking staff can discuss this with you.
Is 3D Mammography suitable for me?
3D Mammography has been shown to increase cancer detection and reduce unnecessary recalls regardless of the density of your breast. At the moment we are advocating 3D Mammography for average and mixed density breasts (where we feel the benefit is greatest).
We suggest that if your tissue is particularly dense, then regular (2D) mammogram and ultrasound is a better combination. Our staff can inform you what your breast density is. We are however happy to offer you 3D Mammography on request.