What is the best method of detecting breast cancer?
A mammogram, or x-ray of the breast, along with a clinical breast exam (an exam done by your doctor) is the most effective way to detect breast cancer early. Mammograms have both benefits and limitations. For example, some cancers can’t be detected by a mammogram, but may be detectable by breast exam.
Checking your own breasts for lumps or other changes is called a breast self-exam (BSE). Studies so far have not shown that BSE alone reduces the numbers of deaths from breast cancer. BSE should not take the place of clinical breast exam and a mammogram.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is a safe test used to look for any problems with a woman’s breasts. The test uses a special, low-dose x-ray machine to take pictures of both breasts. The results are recorded on x-ray film or directly onto a computer for a radiologist to examine.
Mammograms allow the doctor to have a closer look for breast lumps and changes in breast tissue. They can show small lumps or growths that a doctor or woman may not be able to feel when doing a clinical breast exam. “Mammography” is the best screening tool that doctors have for finding breast cancer.
If a lump is found, your doctor may order other tests, such as ultrasound or a biopsy–a test where a small amount of tissue is taken from the lump and area around the lump. The tissue is sent to a lab to look for cancer or changes that may mean cancer is likely to develop. Breast lumps or growths can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Finding breast cancer early means that a woman has a better chance of surviving the disease. There are also more choices for treatment when breast cancer is found early.
Central Carolina OB/Gyn is pleased to offer our patients the latest technology and convenience in Women’s Health. In our effort to provide one-stop, annual well woman exams, we are now offering the convenience of 3D mammography in our office for your annual breast screening.
What is a 3D mammography breast exam?
A 3D mammography exam is very similar to having a traditional 2D mammogram, but far more accurate in earlier breast cancer detection than any other mammogram. Like a 2D mammogram, the technologist will position you, compress your breast and take images from different angles.
3D mammography works by capturing multiple slices (images) of the breast from several angles, creating a layered 3D breast image. Our radiologist is then able to review your breast, one thin slice at a time, almost like turning pages in a book, which helps them make a more accurate diagnosis. Unlike a 2D traditional mammography where doctors can only see the front cover of a book, thus viewing all of the complexities of your breast tissue in a flat image, 3D mammography allows for more detail to be seen.
Is there any additional compression?
There’s no additional compression required with 3D mammography, and it only takes a few seconds longer.
Why we recommend 3D mammography:
3D mammography is simply a better mammogram. This technology is clinically proven, and it’s the most accurate mammogram available. It is the biggest breakthrough in breast cancer detection in 30 years.
Facts about 3D mammography
- 3D mammography is clinically proven to be superior to a regular 2D mammogram.
- Several large studies have shown that 3D mammography detects 41% more invasive breast cancers and reduces the chance that you will need to be called back for additional views by up to 40%.
- 3D mammography is approved for all women who would be undergoing a standard mammogram regardless of age or breast type – or whether you are coming in for a screening and/or diagnostic mammogram.
- Very little X-ray dose is used during the 3D mammography exam, just about the same amount as a traditional film mammogram and well within the FDA safety standards for mammography.