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Differences Between a Mammogram and 3D Mammogram

Understanding Mammograms with Second to Nature: Traditional vs. 3D

Breast cancer screening is an essential health measure for women, and mammography is the frontline tool in this fight. At Second to Nature in Roanoke, VA, we understand the importance of comprehensive breast care, which is why we offer insights into the world of mammograms—specifically, the differences between traditional mammograms and their advanced counterparts, 3D mammograms.


What is a Traditional Mammogram?

A traditional mammogram is a 2D x-ray image of the breast. It’s used to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms, and as a routine screening tool. The process involves compressing the breast between two plates to spread out the breast tissue for clear imaging. While highly effective, traditional mammograms can sometimes result in overlapping tissues that can hide lesions or give the illusion of abnormalities, leading to callbacks for additional testing.


The Advancement: 3D Mammograms

3D mammography, or digital breast tomosynthesis, takes multiple x-ray pictures of each breast from different angles. The images are then compiled into a 3D picture. This advanced technology increases the detection rate of breast cancer and decreases the likelihood of false positives. By providing a more detailed picture, 3D mammograms allow radiologists to see through layers of tissue and examine areas of concern from all angles.


When to Choose Which Mammogram

The American College of Radiology recommends that women of average risk for breast cancer begin annual mammography screenings at age 40. Traditional mammograms are typically sufficient for routine screening. However, women with dense breast tissue or a higher risk of breast cancer might benefit from 3D mammograms. The detailed imagery can be crucial for early detection in such cases, making it a valuable option for more thorough screening.


Schedule Your 3D Mammogram in the Roanoke Area


  • The LewisGale Medical Center at 4330 Brambleton Ave., in Roanoke (24018) also offers mammography for breast cancer screenings. Call (540) 283-3700 for more information. Their location in Salem at 1911 Electric Rd. (24153) has 3D mammograms available. Call them at (540) 776-4000.


Second to Nature is committed to facilitating early detection and peace of mind. If you’re in Roanoke or the surrounding areas and interested in learning more about your mammogram options or scheduling a 3D mammogram, please reach out to us. Our experienced staff is here to guide you through the process and address any concerns.


Learn more by calling Second to Nature in Roanoke, VA, at (540) 366-2711. Follow and like us on Facebook for additional updates. Let us be your partner in proactive breast health, with tips on learning the difference between a mammogram and 3D mammogram.