The risk of breast cancer is approximately two times higher for women with a parent, child, or sibling who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. For women with dense breast tissue, the risk of breast cancer is also high.
This is because cancer can be difficult to spot in dense breast tissue using a traditional mammogram. As a precaution, it’s recommended that women with dense breasts undergo mammography screenings and 3D breast ultrasounds.
Why don’t I just receive a 3D breast ultrasound instead of a mammogram?
3D mammography may seem like an obvious solution for those with dense breasts. After all, if a traditional mammogram has difficulty detecting cancer in dense breast tissue then why receive a mammogram at all?
But mammograms are an important part of the screening process whether or not you have dense breasts. Mammograms screen for cancer whereas breast ultrasounds are diagnostic. You don’t need a doctor’s referral for a mammogram; you need a doctor’s referral for a breast ultrasound.
Mammograms and ultrasounds use two different imaging modalities with different functions. Because of this, an ultrasound can’t replace a mammogram and a mammogram can’t replace an ultrasound.
Why are ultrasounds and mammograms recommended together?
Ultrasounds and mammograms each have their strengths and weaknesses. That’s why it’s recommended that those who have dense breasts receive both so you receive the benefits of both.
Ultrasounds are great for evaluating lumps in the breast, such as determining whether a lump is a cyst or not. But an ultrasound can’t take an image of areas deep inside the breast.
A mammogram, on the other hand, can take an image of areas deep inside the breast. So a mammogram can identify an abnormality while an ultrasound can tell you what that abnormality is.
That said, mammograms are used for screening purposes only. That means they’re meant to check for breast abnormalities in healthy women. An ultrasound is only used when an abnormality shows up on the mammogram; they’re not used before the mammogram.
Where can I receive 3D mammography screening near me?
For those with dense breasts, it’s recommended to receive both a 3D breast ultrasound and a mammogram for a more accurate screening. We offer both 3D breast ultrasounds and mammograms for your convenience.
To learn more about our 3D mammography screenings or to schedule a mammogram, contact us today.