Traditional mammograms remain a safe, effective way to detect breast cancer in its early stages, before any symptoms are present. A recent Huffington Post article explores evidence showing that newer 3D mammograms (also called digital breast tomosynthesis) may be more effective and less uncomfortable than traditional mammograms. The experienced breast reconstruction surgeons at The Breast Center of Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery are here to help you access the information you need. Please call our Lone Tree, CO office at (720) 457-4461.
Traditional mammograms take 2 images of each breast, whereas the 3D technology takes multiple views of the breast, creating a multi-layered image for the radiologist to assess. The study under discussion involved 7,500 women between age 40 and 74. Both methods together detected breast cancer in 68 women. Twenty-one cases were detected by 3D mammogram alone, and one case was identified by traditional mammograms alone. The researchers did note that the recall rate – how many cancer free women had to return for further testing – was higher for 3D mammograms.
Remember, this is just one study and traditional mammograms remain an important way to see breast cancer when it's small and confined to the breast. Most health insurance policies cover traditional mammograms and not the 3D technique. The Affordable Care Act requires all health insurance companies to pay for the cost of these traditional mammograms. It may be that in another 5, 10 or 20 years, 3D mammograms will be the norm, but for now, researchers continue to look at the efficacy of this method.