Sansum Clinic provides a full spectrum of medical imaging services using state-of-the-art diagnostic technology including digital mammography, digital Breast Biopsy, MRI, and ultrasonography. Sansum Clinic was the first facility in the County to incorporate the first Digital mammography in 2000, performing 75 to 80 mammogram procedures per day.
Digital Mammography and Accuracy
Digital mammography provides the highest resolution available along with the ability to enhance the image digitally through magnification, brightness, contrast etc. Digital mammograms are more accurate for women under the age of 50, for women with dense breasts and for those who are premenopausal or perimenopausal.
Sharing of Digital Mammograms
Additionally, images can be transmitted to other health providers electronically making it possible to view the results simultaneously by more than one physician. This means that your surgeon, oncologist, and radiologist can all review the results and consult on possible treatment options. Even if each is located in a different building.
Digital Mammograms Save Time
Digital mammography also significantly reduces callbacks. Currently, with traditional film mammography, many patients are recalled for additional imaging because the initial mammogram was not clear in one or more areas. Studies show that fewer patients are recalled for additional imaging after digital mammography. In addition to decreasing the number of women who have to experience the anxiety of a recall procedure, fewer recall exams also means less radiation exposure.
What is 3D Mammography?
Unlike 2D digital mammography, which takes a full view of the breast tissue as a flat image, 3D Mammography is a 3 dimensional image of the breast tissue with several images that are taken at varying angles along an arc across the breast. With 3D mammography, the premise is that what is hidden behind fibroglandular tissue on one image might be visible in another image if the angle is slightly different.
We have recently invested in the newest 3D Mammography technology available as an option for our patients. The new Selenia Dimensions from Hologic®, can help provide:
- Earlier detection: While digital mammography has been the most advanced screening technology available, it is 2-dimensional and has limitations. This new 3-D equipment can detect small cancers that may not be seen with traditional 2-D images.
- Greater accuracy: 3-D mammography results in better survival rates because of early detection.
- Decreased recall rates: Improved accuracy reduces the need for patients to return for additional imaging tests. There is also a reduction in the occurrence of false positive biopsy readings.
3D Mammography FAQ's
Q. What is the difference between the conventional 2D screening mammography versus 3D breast tomosynthesis screening mammography?
A. Unlike 2D digital mammography, which takes a full view of the breast tissue as a flat image, 3D Mammography, breast tomosynthesis, is a 3 dimensional image of the breast tissue with several images that are taken at varying angles along an arc across the breast. With 3D mammography, the premise is that what is hidden behind fibroglandular tissue on one image might be visible in another image if the angle is slightly different.
Q. What is the benefit of having a 3D mammogram versus the conventional 2D mammogram?
A. 3D mammography has been shown to reduce false positive studies by up to 40%, which means that there will be less of a need for additional imaging. Additionally, some studies have shown that it detects 41% more invasive breast cancers than 2D mammography.
Q. Is there a difference in the mammography experience for the patient?
A. A 3D mammogram is very similar to having a traditional 2D mammogram. Like a 2D mammogram, the technologist will position the patient, compress the breast and take images from different angles. There is no additional compression required and it only takes a few seconds longer for each view.
Q. Is there any difference in the radiation exposure?
A. The exposure is virtually the same as a 2D mammogram and is well within the FDA safety standards for mammography.
Q. Who is a candidate for 3D screening mammography?
A. All patients who need a screening mammogram are good candidates for 3D screening mammography. Multiple studies have shown that all women, regardless of breast type or density, may benefit from 3D mammography.
Q. Is 3D mammography covered by insurance carriers?
A. To date, only Medicare (FFS Medicare and Senior HMO) and Cencal are covering 3D mammography. The PPO and commercial HMO plans are currently not covering screening 3D mammography. We are hopeful that the commercial PPO and HMO plans will ultimately cover this service and we will be sure to let everyone know, if/when that occurs. If you would like to elect to have a 3D screening mammogram and are currently on an HMO or PPO plan we are charging a fee of $60, which is significantly lower than what others are charging in the community.
Q. Will 3D mammography replace whole breast ultrasound/will some patients still benefit from whole breast ultrasound?
A. If a patient has dense breast tissue, which is identified on a 2D or 3D mammogram, an additional screening for whole breast ultrasound may still be recommended. Your doctor will determine if whole breast ultrasound or breast MRI is recommended for you.
To learn more about this exciting new technology, please contact your primary care doctor.