Better screening for all women
Anyone who is due for a standard digital mammogram can elect to have a 3D mammogram, now offered by the Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care.
Why choose 3D mammography?
A malignancy easily missed with conventional 2D mammography was clearly seen with Hologic 3D mammography. Click to enlarge
Standard digital mammography provides radiologists with 2D images of the breast. Sometimes, overlapping layers of tissue can create unclear results or false alarms.
3D mammography aims to decrease the effect of overlapping breast tissue by taking several X-ray images of each breast to create a more accurate 3D picture. With 3D mammography, radiologists can evaluate breast tissue layer by layer making fine details more visible.
Studies have shown that 3D mammography:
- Detects some cancers more readily, resulting in earlier diagnosis which, in turn, may result in less aggressive treatment and better outcomes
- Decreases the number of patients called back for additional testing, resulting in less anxiety and decreased costs
Who benefits from 3D mammography?
Although studies have shown all patients may benefit from 3D mammography compared to standard digital mammography, patients with denser breasts, described as "heterogeneously dense" or "extremely dense" in their mammogram report, benefit more due to more tissue overlap.
Will insurance cover 3D mammography?
Medicare covers payment for 3D mammography. If you have private insurance by a different company, be sure to ask if it is a covered benefit before scheduling an appointment. If 3D mammography is not covered but you would like to have it, the out-of-pocket fee is $75. If you do not have insurance, please speak to a Gundersen financial counselor to find out what your out-of-pocket cost will be.
To schedule a 3D mammogram, call your preferred location or use MyChart (available at most locations). If you have questions, talk to your primary care provider.