Wednesday, June 25, 2014

3D Mammography

3D Mammography, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, has been around for the past few years. Originally I hadn't heard such great things about it but now I have heard more and find it an acceptable addition to cancer screening. Or at least in my opinion, which is what counts for me.

Basically in 3D mammography they take lots of pictures of slices of your breast as opposed to the single image from regular mammography. (Think CT vs x-ray) It takes a little longer for the radiologist to read all the pictures because there are so many of them, but they do  provide much clearer images, better detection, and fewer false positives.

When I went for my annual mammogram a few weeks ago, something I chose not to discuss until I got the results, I had a 3D mammogram. The hospital has added the newer machines in the past year. Their current arrangement is that if you have a doctor appointment the same day, you get a regular digital or screening mammogram. But if you do not have a doctor appointment the same day, meaning the radiologist has lots of time to read all the pictures from a 3D mammogram, that is what you get.

I had decided I see too many doctors and cut back on my radiation oncologist - I don't know why I was still seeing her anyway - and canceled that appointment this year. Some how my surgeons office never scheduled my annual appointment with them, even though I thought I was supposed to be followed by them for life, so I am down two appointments for the year. I will talk to my medical oncologist and my primary care when I see them to make sure I am getting the follow ups I should.

And I learned something, I will have my annual mammogram without a doctor appointment the same day so that I get the 3D mammogram. And my results this year were clean.


Kathryn said...

Clean results are always awesome--congratulations on the good news!

Jim's Girl said...

Great news! ~Kate, of Kate Has Cancer

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