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What is 3D Mammography?

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Published on Sep 17, 2012

** 6/23/14 - There is an updated version of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU8Uz...

Wondering how 3D mammography works? This video explains all about this new tool in the fight against breast cancer, which looks and feels like a regular mammogram but offers so much more. It shows doctors breast tissue in thin slices, making it easier for them to see if there is anything to worry about.

Each year there are approximately 40 million mammograms performed in the United States,1 the majority with 2D digital mammography. Approximately 4 million are called back for additional examinations, more than 1 million minimally invasive biopsies are performed, about 300,000 cancers are detected,2 and 40,000 women die of breast cancer.3

Doctors and scientists agree that early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. If we find cancer in its earliest stages, the chances of surviving it are good. Until now, the best way to do that has been with digital mammography.

While digital mammography is still one of the most advanced technologies available today, it has some limitations because it only provides a two-dimensional picture of the breast. The breast is a three-dimensional object composed of different structures, such as blood vessels, milk ducts, fat, and ligaments. All of these structures, which are located at different heights within the breast, can overlap and cause confusion when viewed as a two-dimensional, flat image. This confusion of overlapping tissue is a leading reason why small breast cancers may be missed and normal tissue may appear abnormal, leading to unnecessary call backs. This is an even greater problem with women who are classified as having denser breast tissue.4

Now there is a revolutionary new tool in the fight against breast cancer: 3D mammography.

Learn more about breast cancer screening and find your 3D mammography provider at http://www.hologic3d.com.

1 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "MQSA National Statistics." Last modified October 2 , 2012. http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-Emitting......
2 Rosenberg RD, Yankaskas BC, Abraham LA, Sickles EA, Lehman CD, Geller BM, Carney PA, Kerlikowske K, Buist DS, Weaver DL, Barlow WE, Ballard-Barbash R; Performance Benchmarks For Screening Mammography. Radiology. 2006 Oct;241(1):55-66.
3 American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Fact & Figures 2011-2012. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, Inc., 2012.
4 Bernardi, D, et. al. "Prospective Study of Breast Tomosynthesis as a Triage to Assessment in Screening." Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 133(1) (Epub 2012): 267-71.

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