Regular mammogram screening is important for early detection of breast cancer and has been shown to reduce your chance of dying from breast cancer. Depending on your personal risk of breast cancer, there are pros and cons regarding at which age to begin mammograms and how frequently to do them. Your choice should be based on your personal preference after a discussion with your physician or primary care provider.
One of your options is a digital breast tomosynthesis or “3-D mammogram.” In this new type of mammogram, multiple images are combined by a computer to create a detailed, three-dimensional picture of the breast. The enhanced detail obtained during the test might improve breast cancer detection and reduce the need to return for additional, follow-up imaging.
While promising, this technology has not been proven to reduce breast cancer death rates as compared to conventional mammography. It is also more expensive and may not be covered by all insurance companies.
If you want your mammogram to include the tomosynthesis 3-D images, please alert the mammogram technologist. The estimated additional cost of the technical component is $75, in addition to the radiologist’s reading fee of between $100 and $150. For patients whose insurance covers the procedure, this will be billed to insurance.