3D Mammography: Am I a Candidate?
It’s time for deciding on candidates! No, we’re not talking about the kerfuffle between Clinton/Trump, etc. This is much, much easier. And frankly, it’s more pleasant. We’re talking about YOU. Are you a candidate for 3D mammography?
There are so many great parts to your candidacy: No stump speeches, none of the incessant handshakes and kissing babies (though occasional baby kisses are endearing), and no complicated foreign policies to puzzle through.
In fact, you don’t even have to decide on liking (or disliking) one person over another. This is a decision about you: what can you do that best suits your needs? All you need is a quick review of the facts. Ready?
Simply being a woman carries risk of breast cancer. No matter what, you’re a candidate for annual screening mammograms (2D or 3D) starting at age 40 if you’re at normal risk.
3D mammography, also called breast tomosynthesis, is a special kind of mammography, known for its ability to see more details. Instead of taking a few images of the breast from a few angles, the “camera” (technically called a “gantry” but that vocabulary word won’t be on any of your tests) moves in an arc, taking images from multiple angles, which allows us to see your breast tissue, more clearly. This technology is being shown to detect breast cancer at earlier stages – and early detection saves lives.
Am I a Candidate for 3D Mammography?
- Do I have a family history of breast cancer? While around 80% of breast cancers occur in people who have no family history of breast cancer, risk jumps up with genetics.
- Do I have a personal history of breast cancer? Regular diagnostic mammograms will be a part of your life to ensure no breast changes develop – and if it does, it gets caught early.
- Do my mammograms usually involve follow-ups, such as ultrasounds? About 10% of women require additional imaging. This doesn’t mean cancer, it means being careful. 3D mammography can reduce the time, cost and fretting over more work-ups.
- Do I have dense breasts? (It’s okay to admit if understanding the whole “breast density” is a little difficult – here’s a cheat sheet.)
So… how did you do? If you answered “YES” to any of those, you’re a candidate! You can be one of the many people who best benefit from the increased imaging capacity of 3D mammography. When scheduling your next annual mammogram, be sure to ask for the best imaging for your needs!
We’re voting for your best possible health!
(Image credit: Annie Kenney and Christabel Pankhurst, Copyright Public Domain)