What is a 3D Mammogram?
Three-dimensional (3D) imaging of the breast provides a greater level of detail than traditional two-dimensional (2D) imaging. By creating a multi-layered view of the breast from many different angles, 3D images increase the detection of invasive breast cancers while also reducing the number of frightening ‘false positive’ results. Additionally, 3D images can more accurately distinguish an abnormality in particularly dense breast tissue – which is good news for the 40-50% of women who have dense breasts. Northern Regional Hospital’s Genius™ 3D Mammography™ exam is currently the only mammogram that is FDA-approved as superior for dense breasts.
How is it different from a 2D Mammogram?
From a patient’s perspective, there should be no significantly noticeable difference between a 2D and 3D breast exam, except that the 3D exam may take a few minutes longer. After entering the dedicated Mammography Suite, patients are escorted to one of two warmly-decorated procedural rooms where the 20-minute screening exam is given by a certified technician. The whole point of mammography is to detect cancer at its earliest sign, and 3D imaging gives us the best option, to date, to detect suspicious nodules or tumors in any kind of breast tissue – fatty or dense.
All Mammography Technologists are nationally registered RT(R)(M) as certified by the ARRT. The latest dedicated mammography units are located in hospital Mammography department.
Do I need a Physician’s Order for a Mammogram?
Whereas most medical diagnostic procedures require a physician’s order, individuals may request a screening mammogram for themselves, provided they follow FDA guidelines by arranging to have a report of the screening results sent to a qualified medical professional, who will then review the results with the individual. The state of North Carolina is a ‘self-requesting’ state, which means that patients may independently contact a provider of mammography services [such as Northern Regional Hospital] to request an exam. At Northern Regional Hospital, patients are given a choice between having a traditional 2D exam (also called a digital exam) or the more sophisticated and pricier Genius™ 3D Mammography™ exam. Given the complex algorithms and proprietary nature of the software and hardware used to create the 3D images, the cost is higher — but most major insurers, including Medicare, now cover the additional cost of this enhanced technology.
Additional Breast Imaging Services at Northern include:
- 2D/3D Screening Mammograms (w/ CAD)
- Diagnostic Mammograms (w/ CAD)
- Breast Needle Localization
- Digital Stereotactic Breast Biopsies
Northern Regional Hospital’s Mammography Suite is certified by the FDA and accredited by the American College of Radiology for 3D imaging and meeting all requirements of the national Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA). The hospital’s three specialized technicians have all received advanced training in the use of 3D imaging.
Northern Regional Hospital is recognized by Hologic® as a Pink Ribbon Facility of Excellence. Pink Ribbon Facilities are digital imaging centers recognized as providing excellence in breast health paired with exceptional commitment and support to the women of their community.
For more information concerning mammography, breast imaging, breast cancer screenings, or to make an appointment, please contact the Mammography Department at 336-783-8400.