3D Mammogram: Cutting-Edge Software Reduces Radiation by 40%

A doctor and a patient have a discussion

If you have heard your physician talking about the option of a 3D Mammogram or “tomosynthesis” and wondered about it, feel free to read our article on the subject. Are you also worried about mammogram discomfort?


Your 3D Mammogram:

Things are changing in the world of mammography.  If you decide to go with a 3D mammogram, you may notice:

  • Your mammogram doesn’t take as long
  • There’s less radiation involved
  • You have less chance of being called back for additional images

This is all thanks to Low Dose Mammography, powered by a cutting-edge software called C-View.

Less Time

With the new upgrade, the exam takes 3.7 seconds — just take a deep breath, count to four, and you’re done!

With a traditional 3D mammogram you receive a 3D scan then a 2D scan. Low Dose Mammography captures a 3D image and then generates a 2D image from the collected data, meaning your compression time decreases. This is good news!

A pink clock sits on a nightstand

Less Radiation

Since the discovery of the X-ray researchers have been finding new ways to decrease radiation levels, as too much radiation can be potentially harmful to your health. (See the informative infographic about the history of the mammogram from the Huffington Post).

Since Low Dose Mammography requires only one exam, radiation exposure is cut significantly. “It’s about 40% less,” according to UVA Breast Radiologist Dr. Brandi Nicholson in her interview with CBS19.

So with Low Dose Mammography, you get all the benefits of a 3D mammogram (more accurate detection rates, fewer false positives, etc.) with radiation rates comparable to a regular 2D mammogram.

A diagram shows the difference between radiation from traditional 3D mammograms and Low Dose Mammograms

Less Chance of Being Called Back for More Images

Low Dose Mammography has been proven to reduce false positive rates. This means that “we aren’t working up something that ultimately proves benign,” said Dr. Nicholson. The emotional roller coaster of the radiologist saying “I saw something” to later finding out “actually it was nothing” is something we all want to avoid.

Low Dose Mammography is also helping increase cancer detection rates. The earlier cancer is found, the easier it is to treat. This is why yearly mammograms for women 40+ are so important!

Final Thoughts

With Low Dose Mammography changing the 3D game at UVA’s Breast Care Program, it’s only fair to give a shout out to our trusty friend the 2D mammogram. 3D mammograms are used for screening dense breasts. If you don’t have dense breast tissue, there’s no reason for you to upgrade to a 3D mammogram; the 2D remains the gold standard for many women. 

Final most important thought: Don’t wait any longer! Schedule your mammogram today.

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