Mammography is an x-ray or digital examination of the internal structure of the breast. A mammogram may help in the diagnosis of breast problems including cancer and is the most effective method available for detecting such issues. Along with the traditional 2D mammogram, Lakewood Health System also offers the more advanced 3D option.
3D mammography is a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic tool designed for early breast cancer detection that can be done in conjunction with a traditional 2D digital mammogram. During the 3D part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over your breast, taking multiple breast images. Then, a computer produces a 3D image of your breast tissue in one millimeter slices, providing greater visibility for the radiologist to see breast detail in a way never before possible.
They can scroll through images of your entire breast like pages of a book. The additional 3D images make it possible for a radiologist to gain a better understanding of your breast tissue during a screening mammogram and the confidence to reduce the need for follow-up imaging.
With conventional digital mammography, the radiologist is viewing all the complexities of your breast tissue in a one flat image. Sometimes breast tissue can overlap, giving the illusion of normal breast tissue looking like an abnormal area. By looking at the breast tissue in one millimeter slices, the radiologist can provide a more confident assessment. In this way, 3D mammography finds cancers missed with conventional 2D mammography. It also means there is less chance your doctor will call you back later for a “second look,” because now they can see breast tissue more clearly.
All that means 41% more advanced cancer detection, and false positive reductions of up to 40%. And while a 3D mammogram takes a few seconds longer, no additional compression is needed. A win-win!
Accredited through the American College of Radiology (ACR), our mammography department truly cares about the health of you and your breasts. Our mammography team consists of registered mammography and registered ultrasound technologists to give you the quality of service you’re expecting and the confidence and support you desire. At Lakewood Health System, a dedicated Women’s Health team including our on-staff Breast Health Navigator supports the mammography team.
Because we want it to be as convenient as possible for you to take better care of yourself, we have extended our Monday hours from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. After you have had your breast exam from your medical provider, simply call the radiology department and tell them you want an appointment on Mammography Monday. It is important to note that we require you see your family medicine physician before scheduling a mammogram. If the convenience of Mammography Mondays sounds right for you, please talk to your healthcare provider today.
Before Your Appointment
- We require that you see your family medicine physician before scheduling a mammogram.
- The American Cancer Society (ACS) and other specialty organizations recommend that, prior to scheduling a mammogram you discuss any new findings or problems in your breasts with your physician. In addition, inform your doctor of any prior surgeries, hormone use, and family or personal history of breast cancer.
- Do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your period if your breasts are usually tender during this time. The best time for a mammogram is one week following your period. Always inform your doctor or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that you are pregnant.
- Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam. These can appear on the mammogram as calcium spots.
- Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam.
- Obtain prior mammograms if they were performed at another facility, and make them available to the radiologist at the time of the current exam.
- Ask when your results will be available; do not assume the results are normal if you do not hear from your doctor or the mammography facility.
According to the American Cancer Society, early detection exams for breast cancer save thousands of lives each year. If everyone took advantage of these tests, thousands more could be saved.