Mammogram FAQs

  • What is a 3D Mammogram breast screening?

    3D mammography is the latest FDA-approved screening and diagnostic tool designed for early breast cancer detection. It captures multiple images at different angles, providing doctors with exceptionally sharp views of the breast.

  • What are the benefits?

    3D mammography allows the mammographer to get a clearer image of breast masses. Other benefits include:

    • Quicker screening (less time patients need to spend in the imaging suite)
    • Reduces the need for repeat exams.
    • Pinpoints the size and shape of abnormalities with more precision.
    • Increases chance of detecting multiple breast tumors
    • Results can be easily stored and transferred electronically.

    The National Cancer Institute did a study comparing film and digital mammography. It concluded that digital mammography is more accurate than film at helping diagnose cancer in women under age 50 and those with dense (not fatty) breast tissue.

  • What should I expect during the 3D mammography exam?

    A 3D mammogram is similar to a traditional mammogram. The mammographer will position you, compress your breast under a paddle and take images from different angles. The x-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple breast images in just seconds. This process takes 10 seconds.

    The mammographer will review the images to ensure they have captured adequate images. The radiologist will then evaluate and read the images and will send the results to both you and your provider.

  • How long will the exam take?

    The entire exam will take about the same amount of time as a standard mammography, approximately 10 minutes.

  • How much radiation will I be exposed to?

    3D mammography uses less radiation than traditional film mammography, reducing a woman’s lifetime exposure to radiation associated with x-rays.

  • Who should get a 3D mammogram?

    We recommend that any woman who needs a breast screening should consider 3D mammography. In particular, women with dense breast tissue may benefit because it provides a clearer picture of the breast tissue. Research shows that using 3D mammography makes it easier to detect breast cancer early and can reduce the chances of false positives.

    The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends the following guidelines for breast cancer screening of women without symptoms:

    • Clinical breast exam by a health care professional every three years for women ages 20 to 39, and annually for women ages 40 and over.
    • Breast self-exam monthly for all women ages 20 and over.
    • A mammogram every year for all women ages 40 or over.
  • Will my insurance pay for it?

    ARC accepts most major insurance carriers, now including Medicare for 3D Mammography. Please contact your insurance provider before your appointment to verify the mammogram is covered.