3D Mammograms: What Is It and Do I Need It?

Women over 40 are accustomed to being told by their doctors to get a mammogram every year. Even so, being told you need one can be a frightening experience. Many women misinterpret this suggestion as a sign that they’re ill, but it doesn’t always mean that.

The purpose of a mammogram is to catch breast cancer early when it’s easiest to treat. They also help to put your mind at ease if there’s nothing to worry about.

If you want to keep your breasts healthy, it’s important that you get screened regularly. But before the appointment, know what mammograms are and how they work. It will help you feel less anxious when the time comes. Read on to learn more about 3D mammograms and how they can help you.

What Are 3D Mammograms?

3D mammograms are a type of X-ray used to detect breast cancer.

A 3D mammogram uses the same images as an ordinary mammogram but with a special machine that takes multiple photographs of your breast from unique positions and angles. The machine combines these images to create a 3D picture of your breast tissue.

3D Mammograms vs. 2D Mammograms

3D mammograms are more accurate than traditional 2D mammograms. They detect smaller tumors that a standard 2D scan might miss.

This is especially helpful for women who have denser breast tissue and whose tumors tend to be harder to spot. These tumors may appear on the initial 2D images as tiny white specks. However, when viewed from another angle (as with a 3D image), these specks become much larger. As such, it’s easier for doctors to identify whether the specks are potentially cancerous.

3D Mammograms

When to Get a 3D Mammogram

If you’re over 40, have a previous breast cancer diagnosis, or have dense breasts, it’s likely that your doctor will recommend a 3D mammogram. You may also want to consider getting one if you have a family history of breast cancer. Moreover, if you notice breast abnormalities, such as lumps, nipple discharge, swelling, or pain, seek medical attention right away.

If none of these apply to you but you still want one done as an extra precaution, it’s perfectly acceptable to do so.

How to Prepare for a Mammogram?

When you arrive at your appointment, remember to bring comfortable clothing that is easy to remove. Wearing a t-shirt is better than wearing a dress. Your doctor may instruct you to wear a gown instead of street clothes.

Also, skip the deodorant on the day of your appointment. It won’t interfere with your test results, but it can get on the machine during your mammogram. It’s also best to get your mammogram done when your breasts aren’t tender or swollen. So, avoid scheduling your test a week before or during your period.

3D mammograms are a safe and effective way to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages. If you live in Alabama and would like to schedule an appointment for a 3D mammogram, contact Northwest Regional Health today. Our team of medical professionals is committed to providing you with top-quality care during your visit.

Schedule Your 3D Mammogram Appointment Today!