A mammogram is the ultimate screening test for breast cancer. Breast cancer is more common than people think, and it is the second most common type of cancer for women after skin cancer (in the United States). While that can sound depressing, the good news is breast cancer is treatable when detected early. Self-examination at home and mammograms can together help detect and diagnose breast cancer in time. If you are going for a3D mammogram screening Boise, here’s what you need to know.
How is a 3D mammogram different?
A standard mammogram creates 2D images of the breast tissues. It remains an accurate way of detecting breast cancer and other abnormalities. However, doctors are now ordering 3D mammograms where available. Also known as breast tomosynthesis, a 3D mammogram takes multiple images of the breast issues from different angles, which are then used to create a 3D image. If your doctor suspects breast cancer, they may order both standard and 3D mammograms for a confirmed diagnosis. The image from 3D mammograms is much clearer, and it is possible to detect cancer much before lumps are formed.
Does a 3D mammogram hurt?
A 3D mammogram is done in the same way as a standard mammogram. You may know that the breast must be compressed to get a clear image, which can cause some discomfort for a few seconds. The pressure is usually minimal and doesn’t feel painful. You may experience something similar during a 3D mammogram. The Society of Breast Imaging recommends this as an alternative to standard 2D mammograms when available. 3D mammography is still new on the block, and there are only a handful of testing facilities in Idaho that offer the option. In other words, you may have to travel to get a 3D mammogram done.
When should you get a mammogram done?
If you are at risk of breast cancer (like family history of the disease), talk to your doctor about getting screened for the disease. In general, all women over 45 should get screened for breast cancer at least once in two years.
Your body will be exposed to radiation during a mammogram. While the risks are extremely low, you need to let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your doctor may order other tests in such circumstances. Finally, do not stress about a 3D mammogram. This is a simple screening test, which can be completed in just 30 minutes or less.