Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, we wanted to explain the importance of getting a mammogram, who should get one, the differences between 2D and 3D mammograms and discuss our 3D mammogram service with you.
Who Should Get a Mammogram?
Starting at age 40 women have the choice to start screening for breast cancer with mammograms if they wish to do so. If your family has a history of breast cancer or abnormal screenings, you should speak with your OB/GYN provider to see if you should start screenings at a younger age.
From ages 45 and up we recommend that women receive an annual mammogram. It’s important that you speak with your doctor about the known benefits and harms linked to breast cancer screening so that you are informed about what is the right option for you.
What’s the Difference Between a 2D Mammogram and a 3D Mammogram?
In regards to the procedure, 2D and 3D mammograms position and compress your breast in the same way to get X-ray images. With 3D mammography, also referred to as “breast tomosynthesis,” the doctor is able to review your digital photos from multiple angles and layers, allowing them to more easily determine if there are any cancerous cells in your breasts. This approach is particularly important for women with dense breasts, who have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
3D mammography makes it easier to find abnormalities, which in turn results in fewer false-positives and can help lower stress and anxiety surrounding extra testing. Research shows that 3D mammography has a slightly higher cancer detection rate than 2D mammography, which can certainly have a long-term impact. That being said, 3D mammography can be more expensive, so it’s important that you check with your insurance provider to see what your plan covers before making any decisions.
We hope that after learning about 3D mammograms, you now understand why we are excited to be able to offer this service at The OB/GYN Group of Austin! If you are due for a mammogram, we’d love for you to contact us to schedule a 3D mammogram appointment today. If you’re not due for a mammogram right now, we still highly recommend reading this blog on how to perform a breast self-exam at home and following the steps for early detection.