Screening for Breast Cancer
Early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. The American Cancer Society, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommend that women should begin receiving an annual mammogram starting at 40 years old.
Until now, the best way to find cancer in its earliest stages has been with digital mammography.
Digital mammography only offers a two-dimensional picture of the breast. Since the breast is composed of pockets of dense tissue surrounded by fat, when X-rayed, it creates an image that looks something like a smoky haze. The overlapping tissue in the image makes it difficult to see tiny “spots”, called microcalcifications, and other subtle signs of early cancer. Scientists have developed a new technology called breast tomosynthesis, which has been shown in clinical studies to be superior to digital mammography. This technology helps doctors find very small cancers or rule out “false positives.”
Breast tomosynthesis converts digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers – building what is essentially a “3-dimensional mammogram.” During the tomosynthesis part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple breast images in seconds. A computer then produces a 3D image of your breast tissue in one-millimeter layers. This allows the radiologist to see breast tissue in a way never before possible. Fine details are more clearly visible, no longer hidden by the tissue above and below.
A 3D mammogram may be used as a screening tool along with a traditional digital mammogram as part of your annual screening to capture more breast images.
Very low X-ray energy is used during the screening examination so your radiation exposure is safely below the American College of Radiology (ACR) guidelines
Schedule Your Next Mammogram in 3D
3D mammograms are available at the following Ochsner locations:
Ochsner Lieselotte Tansey Breast Center
1319 Jefferson Hwy.
New Orleans, LA 70121
Ochsner Health Center-Covington
1000 Ochsner Blvd.
Covington, LA 70433
Ochsner Baptist Imaging Center
2700 Napoleon Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70115