Women's Health Texas – Austin

Our Round Rock ObGyns offer 3D mammography for breast cancer detection

Our Round Rock ObGyns offer 3D mammography for breast cancer detection.

3D mammography, or digital breast tomosynthesis, is a new technology that is performed along with 2D digital mammography. Our Round Rock ObGyns are pleased to offer this option for women who want to add it to their traditional mammography screening.

How does 3D mammography work?

Two dimensional mammography provides the radiologist with a flat image of the breast. The addition of 3D technology allows the technician to obtain multiple views of the breast that are used to produce a detailed, 3D image for the radiologist to read. 3D mammography was approved by the FDA in 2011, and the technology is particularly beneficial for women with dense breast tissue.

Women probably won’t notice much difference in the process when they choose to add 3D mammography to their screening because the same scanner that takes the traditional images is used to take the 3D images. The x-ray arm moves in a slight arc when taking the images that will be used with software to create the 3D image. This requires about one extra minute per breast, exposing patients to slightly more low-level radiation than traditional 2D mammography.

Potential benefits of 3D mammography

Research shows benefits to adding 3D mammography to the traditional imaging.

  • 3D mammography provides a more detailed picture that provides the physician with a better view of abnormal tissue and small tumors that may have been hidden when tissue overlapped in traditional 2D views.
  • Some studies suggest that women who add 3D mammography to their test may receive fewer call backs from the radiologist asking for second views of suspicious tissue.
  • Dense breast tissue makes it harder to see cancer, so adding 3D imaging may help detect new growths.

Currently, one drawback to this new technology is the fact that many insurance companies do not pay for the test; however, the extra cost to the patient is reasonable, and the 2D traditional portion of the test will be covered by insurance.

Our ObGyns want women to have every option for breast cancer detection

Detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages leads to better and more successful treatment. The mission of our ObGyns is to offer patients the most up-to-date technology, such as 3D mammography, to help in the fight against breast cancer. We encourage women to visit us for annual well-woman exams so that we can perform a clinical breast exam. We will also talk about breast health and whether or not you would benefit from BRCA testing.

If you would like to learn more about 3D mammography, contact us.