Breast Cancer Detection: 3D Mammography Continues to Shine
Since its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011, 3D mammography has continued to prove itself crucial. This advanced screening technology is used to detect breast cancer in all women, but most especially those with dense breast tissue. After several years of active use across the country, the technology is continuing to show very strong and accurate results.
A 3D mammogram differs from the standard two-dimensional images ordered by physicians. A 3D scan enables better visualization of breast tissue through the use of X-rays that create a more complete picture of the breast. The machine captures a series of images of the breast from different angles that are then brought together to create a three-dimensional representation. This technology, research has shown, is incredibly strong at detecting small lesions in dense breast tissue, enabling early detection for women whose cancer might have otherwise gone unnoticed until it developed further.
Routine screening for breast cancer via mammography is recommended for all women as they age. It is estimated that more than 200,000 American women are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer annually. More than 40,000 women die from this cause each year.
Breast cancer, like many forms of the disease, tends to be highly treatable when it is caught in its earliest stages. That is precisely what is making the use of 3D mammography so exciting for healthcare practitioners. Although still widely used and highly effective, 2D mammography may not have the sensitivity to pick up early abnormalities when screening involves a woman with especially dense breast tissue. The newer 3D scans, however, have a much stronger track record of doing so.
Since all women are at risk for the development of breast cancer, it is recommended that early screening begin around the age of 45 on an annual basis. For women at especially high risk, the need to start screening sooner will be present. To find out more about breast cancer screening and personal risks, speak with a healthcare provider.