Check Your Health: Benefits of 3-D Mammograms

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Benefits of 3-D Mammograms (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Mammograms are the best way to screen for breast cancer and catch it early. However, a new technology is improving the screening process for breast cancer and that is 3-D Mammography.

Carol Thompson started getting annual mammograms at the age of 40 as is recommended. In the past she had 2-D mammograms, but this year she decided to do the 3-D.

“2-D is considered conventional and 3-D is considered the new technology – the latest and greatest,” says Marlene Judd, Mammography Technologist at Park City Hospital.

Both methods use x-ray to look for lumps, tumors, or other abnormalities. The difference is, a 3-D mammogram takes multiple and more detailed images. Judd uses a book as an example.

“2-D would be like looking at this book. The cover of it. 3-D is looking at the pages in the book,” says Judd.

Carol chose to do a 3-D mammogram because it gives more detail. In the past she’s been called back, but with 3-D mammograms it actually reduces the likelihood of getting a call back.

“As they scroll through, they can have a more definitive answer,” says Judd.

For the patient, the experience is the same. It’s the same positioning, same compression, and the only difference is an arm going over the top.

While all women are candidates for a 3-D mammogram, women with a strong family history or women who have dense breast tissue are encouraged to choose this option.

Some insurances cover 3-D mammograms in full, others require you to pay a portion out of pocket. Be sure to check with your insurance provider prior to screening.

“I feel like it’s a very minimal investment for the peace of mind,” says Carol.

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