3D TOMOSYNTHESIS MAMMOGRAPHY
WHY ARE MAMMOGRAMS SO IMPORTANT?
Mammograms are used as a screening tool to detect early stage breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms and, to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge. Numerous studies have proven that early detection is the key to successful treatment of breast cancer. The reason that mammograms play a central role in the early discovery of breast cancer is because they can detect changes in the breast that may be initial signs of cancer, but are too small to be felt.
WHAT IS 3D TOMOSYNTHESIS MAMMOGRAPHY
3D tomosynthesis mammography uses computers and specially designed digital detectors to produce an image that can be displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor, as well as transmitted and stored.
From a patient’s perspective, having a 3D tomosynthesis mammogram is similar to having a digital mammogram. 3D mammography is a revolutionary screening and diagnostic breast imaging tool to improve the early detection of breast cancer. During the 3D part of the exam, an x-ray arm sweeps over the breast taking multiple images in seconds.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR A MAMMOGRAM?
Before scheduling a mammogram, the American Cancer Society (ACS) and other specialty organizations recommend that you discuss any new findings or problems in your breasts with your doctor. In addition, you should inform your doctor of prior surgeries, hormone use, and family or personal history of breast cancer.
Do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your period if your breasts are usually tender during this time. The best time for a mammogram is one week following your period. Always inform your doctor or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that you are pregnant.
The ACS also recommends you:
Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam as they can appear on the mammogram as calcium spots.
Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam.
If possible, obtain prior mammograms and make them available to the radiologist at the time of the current exam.
HOW WILL I GET MY RESULTS?
A radiologist who is a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to your primary care or referring physician.