Breast Health

Preventing, diagnosing and treating breast pain, lumps, cancer and more with state-of-the-art imaging, medical and surgical services.

3D Mammography

When it comes to a breast screening, or any diagnostic exam, you want to be sure your results are as accurate as possible. That starts with experienced and knowledgeable professionals using the most advanced equipment.

UTMB Breast Health and Imaging is pleased to offer innovative technology in screening mammography—3D Mammography, also known as breast tomosynthesis.

Texas is one of only eight states that requires commercial insurers to cover the cost of 3D mammograms.

Who should get a 3D Mammogram?

While all women can benefit from a 3D screening mammogram, it is especially beneficial to women who have dense breast tissue. Breast density does not relate to how your breasts feel during your self-exam, but to the density of glandular and supportive tissue.

Research has shown that dense breasts are 6 times more likely to develop cancer. Dense breasts make it harder to detect cancer in a typical mammogram, as the cancerous cells can be camouflaged by the gland tissue. Studies have shown that 3D mammograms are better at detecting cancer in dense breasts.

What to expect during a 3D Mammogram?

During the 3D mammogram, your breast is compressed between two plates. In a typical, or 2D, mammogram, the breast is scanned from the front and the side. A 3D mammogram takes a series of images of your breast tissue that are later reconstructed to form a 3D image of your breast. The 3D mammogram takes just a few seconds longer than the traditional mammogram.

What are the benefits of a 3D Mammogram?

There are many reasons to choose a 3D mammogram at UTMB Health including:

  • Increase in the detection of invasive breast cancers, as compared to 2D mammograms
  • Significant reduction in false-positive recall rates
  • Fewer call backs for additional imaging
  • Shorter compression time when compared to other mammography systems
  • Ergonomic design delivers a more comfortable experience for most women
  • Lowest possible radiation dose for 3D mammography
3D Mammography

Increased Accuracy and Fewer False Positives

The Society for Breast Imaging overwhelmingly recommends a 3D mammogram for the best possible outcome, regardless of breast type. Recent research indicates that 3D mammograms are more accurate than digital and film mammography and offer fewer false positives than ultrasound mammography for women with dense breasts.

See the Difference:

Here you can see how the 3D mammogram on the right exposed a light spot, indicating a possible cancer growth that was missed by the 2D mammogram.

Web 3D-vs-2D-improved-detection

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