3-D Mammograms Show What You Can’t Feel

Seeing Cancer More Clearly

Breast cancer screenings mean examining the breasts for cancer before you experience symptoms. Both men and women can be diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, regular screenings can often detect breast cancer early.

Three types of screenings diagnose breast cancer:

  • Breast self-exam and clinical breast exam with your physician
  • Mammograms yearly starting at age 40
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI); only if known family history or cancer syndrome is present

Mammography, the most common type of screening, has advanced from the traditional 2-D exam to 3-D imaging. 3-D mammograms give health care providers more information than the traditional exam, says diagnostic radiologist Priyanka Handa, M.D.

“3-D mammograms are different from 2-D mammograms in that we can minimize structural overlap and acquire images from different angles,” Dr. Handa says. “The exam takes about 10 seconds. Masses and distortions within the breast are actually better seen on a three- dimensional study.”

If an abnormality is found in the 3-D mammogram, an individual will revisit the mammography suite for a diagnostic mammogram and/or ultrasound to investigate the matter further. From the diagnostic workup, an ultrasound guided or stereotactic breast biopsy procedure may be recommended. “A stereotactic breast biopsy is performed by a radiologist, and precisely targets and biopsies cell tissue or a group of calcification only seen on the mammogram,” Dr. Handa explains. “With computerized mammographic guidance, a needle is placed into the breast exactly where the abnormality is, then a few samples are taken and sent to pathology for analysis.

Detecting and treating breast abnormalities at their earliest stages can lead to more successful outcomes. If you have any concerns, contact your doctor right away. 3-D mammography screenings are performed at: the Breast Health Center, in the Outpatient Center at the Sanctuary in Fort Myers.

Get a breast cancer screening when:

Any warning signs appear, including:

  • a new lump and/or thickening in the breast or underarm
  • redness and/or flaky skin in the nipple or breast
  • breast size and shape change
  • nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • local pain in any area of the breast

If you find a lump, don’t panic—80% of lumps found are not cancerous. Make an appointment with your doctor for further evaluation.

Mark your calendars

Men and women should perform a breast self-exam at least once each month beginning at age 18.

Women should have yearly mammograms, starting at age 40.

Priyanka Handa, M.D.
Diagnostic Radiology
Florida Radiology Consultants
8791 Conference Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33919

Tags: Cancer Care, Oncology, Regional Cancer Center, Breast Cancer