3D mammogram diagnostic image

Is a 3D Mammogram Right for Me?

3D mammography is a revolutionary technology that has paved the way for a more thorough screening process. Boasting a greater chance at detecting abnormalities than traditional mammograms, the process has quickly become an essential tool in safeguarding women’s health. “Routine mammography is a woman’s single best defense against breast cancer,” says Dr. Indy Lane, FACOG and board-certified OB/GYN. “Understanding 3D mammograms can help you make an informed decision about your next screening.” Find a mammogram location near you. 

Know What to Expect

“The process from a patient standpoint is virtually the same as with 2D mammograms,” explains Dr. Lane. You will stand in front of the 3D mammography machine with your breasts between two plates which will compress vigorously.

Dr. Lane reassures that “Discomfort during compression is a frequent complaint, but it fades fairly quickly.” During compression, a sensor will circle around your breast and take several x-ray images. This is a safe, low-dose x-ray which can expose changes you wouldn’t be able to feel by touch.

Understand the Benefits

With the images taken during compression, your doctor is able to create a detailed 3D model of your breast. This model gives an enhanced view over 2D mammograms, and allows your doctor to more accurately view any abnormalities that may exist.

“3D mammograms result in up to 40% fewer false alarms, and reduce the need for additional images of the breast,” says Dr. Lane. Doctors feel more confident in their assessments using the 3D model, and are less likely to call you back for a second look.

Infographic: The 5 W's of Mammograms


Infographic on the What, When, Why and Where of Mammograms

Estimate the Cost

Aside from the brief discomfort of breast compression, Dr. Lane believes there are no true drawbacks to 3D mammograms. “I highly recommend the procedure for annual breast cancer screenings. In my opinion, the only downside is that not all insurers will cover the cost of 3D mammograms.”

Community offers price estimate services to help you understand your ability to afford a 3D mammogram and associated costs. If you’re preparing for your yearly examination, fill out the information on this page to receive your estimate.

Learn more about different procedures and view FAQs at Community’s mammogram homepage.