3D Mammography (Breast Tomosynthesis)
Mammography is a radiological examination used to detect breast disease. The examination is performed on a mammograph, a device that uses ionizing radiation. In comparation, dose of ionizing radiation received during the examination is significantly lower than in X-rays of some parts of the body. During imaging, the breasts are pressed between two plates of the mammography device.
In breast tomosynthesis or 3D mammography - a new type of mammography, the breast is pressed in the device only once, while in standard two-dimensional mammography the breast is pressed twice. 3D mammography combines the images (25 different images) into one three-dimensional image, which gives a sharper and clearer insight into the breast tissue (for example, more precise visibility of tumor formations compared to classical mammography).
A common question of patients relates to the safety of mammography, given its use of ionizing radiation. In this radiological exam, small doses of ionizing radiation are used and thus the benefit of the test itself outweighs the possible harm caused by radiation.
In St. Catherine Specialty Hospital we use Siemens MAMMOMAT Revelation device with tomosynthesis (3D mammography) and wide angle imaging technology.
Advantages of the MAMMOMAT Revelation device:
• Adjusted breast pressure for optimal results
• Increased patient comfort
• Reduced unnecessary review steps
Possible limitations of classical mammography:
There are several factors that can affect the detection of tumors by mammography, and the use of breast tomosynthesis reduces their effects on the image quality:
• Age of patient
• Patient weight
• Tumor size and type
• Tumor site in the breast
• Breast density
• Menstrual cycle
Restrictions that most often appear during mammography:
• False negative finding - the finding appears normal even though abnormalities are present. It is more common when imaging denser breast tissue, i.e. in younger women, and thus delays diagnosis and treatment.
• False positive finding - abnormal changes are visible in the image even though there is no pathology. It also occurs more often when imaging thicker breast tissue and in women taking hormone replacement therapy. This can lead to unnecessary additional procedures.
Conventional mammography as a diagnostic method is not completely perfect, so 10 to 15% of tumors are still not detected by this method. Therefore, it is recommended to do a 3D mammogram and a complementary ultrasound examination.
Contact us with confidence and book your appointment for an examination to prevent any further problems.