Two-dimensional (2D) digital mammography remains the gold standard for early detection of breast cancer. But 3D mammography, now available at all Larchmont Medical Imaging locations, adds a new dimension. As the latest weapon added to the arsenal in the fight against breast cancer, 3D mammography:
Digital mammography is a safe, low dose X-ray examination of the breasts, which produces high quality images while significantly reducing examination time. With digital imaging, the radiologist has the ability to manipulate, magnify and enhance the brightness and contrast of the images that are produced on a high-resolution computer screen. A digital software system called iCAD serves as a "second look" for your mammogram, directing the radiologist to areas that may need further analysis.
The use of annual screening mammography has reduced the breast cancer death rate in the US by 30% since 1990. Mammography provides the best chance of early detection of breast cancer by detecting small tumors before they have spread, making the possibility of cure very high.
The advantages of digital mammography include:
Digital images are easily stored and transferred electronically, eliminating the dependency on a single set of mammograms
Since they generate both 2D and 3D images, 3D digital mammograms are appropriate as a routine screening for all women who need an annual mammogram. However, insurers in New Jersey are only mandated to cover 3D mammograms for women with breast tissue in the “extremely dense” category.
A decision about which test to have should be based on factors that you can discuss with your referring physician. This includes your overall level of lifetime breast cancer risk and whether you have dense breasts.
Our breast imaging specialists are available to discuss questions that your physician may have about the benefits of 3D mammograms. To arrange a consultation, please call (609) 914.7017.
Please bring (or arrange the mailing of) all previous mammograms performed at other facilities. A very early cancer may only be seen when a radiologist compares your current mammogram to previous ones.
Don't wear deodorant or powder during your exam. Some of these products may cause bright spots that look like abnormalities on X-rays.
If your breasts are sensitive, schedule your mammogram at a time during the month when your breasts will be the least sensitive. Avoiding the week before your period will help to lessen discomfort.
A screening mammogram is a routine study. A diagnostic mammogram is a targeted exam for women with specific breast problems or an abnormal screening mammogram. Your breasts will be compressed to spread out the tissue. This is necessary to produce the clearest images with the least amount of radiation. Compression will last a few seconds and then is released immediately. Our technologist will make the exam as comfortable as possible. A radiologist who specializes in breast imaging will review your mammogram images. A report of the findings will be sent to your doctor shortly after your visit. Results will be mailed to you within a few weeks. If the radiologist requests additional images, you will receive a phone call from our staff within a few days to schedule the follow up diagnostic procedure.