What is a 3D mammogram, differences from a regular one and who needs it?

A 3D mammogram, also known as breast tomosynthesis, is an imaging procedure wherein multiple X-rays of the breast are combined to form a single 3D image. This imaging is helpful when people have no symptoms and want to be sure about their health or to check breast issues such as sudden nipple discharge, a breast mass, swelling, etc.

Why is a 3D mammogram opted over a standard 2D mammogram? 

A 3D mammogram offers a clearer image of the entire breast tissue. This allows any abnormalities to be detected quickly and eliminates the risk of any abnormal cells that might be cancerous.

Often a 3D mammogram is done along with a standard 2D mammogram as it provides the most precise image. The two can be combined and overlapped to look for any minor abnormalities present but won’t be visible in a standard 2D mammogram. Getting these tests done also reduces the chances of further tests being ordered as everything is visible in these two combined imaging procedures, and the doctors can rule out all issues.

The difference in the two procedures

In a standard 2D mammogram, the breast tissue is compressed between two plates and then screened. This causes uniform spreading of the breast tissue. X-rays are then taken from the top, bottom, and sides. This creates an image of the entire breast.

In a 3D mammogram, the breast tissue is again compressed, but the X-rays taken are a lot more and from many different angles. These images are then combined, and a much clearer picture is generated. Such imaging allows the doctor to look at a detailed smaller cross-section, which helps diagnose better.

Who needs a 3D mammogram?

3D mammogram in Fair Lawn, NJ, is often suggested to those with a much denser breast. This is because a dense breast may create a cloudy image in a 2D mammogram which restricts the ability of the doctor to look for abnormalities.

It is also suggested to people who have breast cancer, and the doctor needs a more precise image to see the scope and range of affected tissue. Hence, your doctor will recommend when they think that a 3D mammogram is necessary.