Two different types of mammograms boost early detection and survival

One in eight women will get breast cancer during her lifetime, according to Breastcancer.org. The good news is that fewer women are dying from the disease. Early detection through screening is one important reason why there are more survivors today.

Mammograms are the primary screening tool used to catch breast cancer early. This imaging test is an X-ray of your breasts to look for any early signs of cancer, such as tumors or lesions. There are two different types of mammograms: traditional 2D and digital 3D.

Why get a mammogram

Having regular mammograms can give you the best chance of survival, according to the American Cancer Society. The organization recommends that all women get the choice to start annual screening at age 40 and start getting a mammogram every year starting at age 45. If you are at higher risk of breast cancer (for example, if you have a family history or genetic syndrome), you may want to begin with a baseline screening mammogram earlier. Talk to your doctor about risk factors and when you should consider starting screenings.

What is a mammogram like?

Getting a mammogram can be a little awkward at first. You stand close to a machine and place your breast on a platform. The machine then squishes your breast a little and takes pictures.

Digital 3D mammography is the latest technology, adding comfort and increased accuracy. The whole process takes about 30 minutes. At Reid Health Breast Center, you typically will receive your results before you leave after having your mammogram.There are two different types of mammograms: traditional 2D and digital 3D.

Also called tomosynthesis, this practice allows for a more accurate picture of the breast. The 3D mammogram take 25 pictures from multiple angles. These images are then used to create a 3D picture of the breast that the radiologist can sharpen or zoom in on to make a more accurate assessment.

A study at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania found that tomosynthesis caught 22 percent more breast cancers — with fewer callbacks.

Tomosynthesis is especially beneficial for women with dense breast tissue. Abnormalities can be harder to spot in women with dense breasts using traditional mammography. However, one study by the European Cancer Organisation found that digital 3D mammography increased cancer detection in women with dense breasts by 50 percent.

Where can I get a mammogram

Reid Health offers 3D mammography at the Reid Breast Center, and traditional 2D mammography also continues to be offered. The Reid staff takes pride in making you feel comfortable and at ease, with warm robes and soft lighting.

No matter how busy you are, it’s important to make time for a mammogram. Reid offers morning and evening hours to work within your schedule. You can make an appointment through central scheduling at (765) 983-3358. You can also sign up for an annual mammogram reminder on your birthday.

Both different types of mammograms can help save lives, and now the process is quicker and easier than ever.

Image source: Flickr


3 responses to “Two different types of mammograms boost early detection and survival”

  1. Susan683 says:

    Most insurance will not pay for 3-D mammogram

    • Dan Printz says:

      Hello Susan683,

      It is true that most private insurance companies do not cover Tomosynthesis (3-D mammograms) at this point in time. Some private insurance plans do cover this, and Medicare also currently covers Tomosynthesis (3-D mammograms).

      Over time, coverages can change. As with any medical procedure, it is best to check with your individual insurance provider first to see what is covered.

      In any case, it is important to note that a patient can always choose to have the traditional 2D mammogram, if desired.

    • Dan Printz says:

      Hello Susan683,

      It is true that most private insurance companies do not cover Tomosynthesis (3-D mammograms) at this point in time. Some private insurance plans do cover this, and Medicare also currently covers Tomosynthesis (3-D mammograms).

      Over time, coverages can change. As with any medical procedure, it is best to check with your individual insurance provider first to see what is covered.

      In any case, it is important to note that a patient can always choose to have the traditional 2D mammogram, if desired.

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