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Q: What is 3D mammography, and why is it superior to other technology?

Maui Health now offers 3D mammography for breast cancer screening at Maui Memorial Medical Center Outpatient Clinic. This technology provides an excellent option for patients because it can provide more accurate detection with faster scans.

With 3D mammography, the scanner takes pictures of your breast from multiple angles and combines them to create a three-dimensional image.

3D mammography is more sensitive and creates clearer images and better resolution, helping doctors spot breast cancer earlier when it's easier to treat. It also provides more accurate imaging and cancer detection for women with dense breasts.

Studies show that 3D mammography detects 41% more invasive cancers than 2D. It also reduces false positives by up to 40%. That's important because you're less likely to be called back for unnecessary follow-up scans and biopsies.

We know patients want to get mammograms done as comfortably and quickly as possible. Faster scans minimize patient discomfort and reduce the risk that the patient will move during the exam, leading to retakes. This new generation of 3D mammograms scans the breast in less than 4 seconds, a significant improvement over older scanners.

These devices also have paddles designed to make positioning easier and conform to the contours of the breast, to be more comfortable for patients. And the paddles automatically release after scanning to keep compression to a minimum.

The bottom line is that early detection is key to breast cancer treatment and now 3D mammography can provide more sensitive and accurate detection compared to traditional screening, with a faster, low-dose scan.

As an additional reminder, women do not need a doctor’s referral for an annual screening mammogram. If you would like to schedule a 3D mammogram at Maui Health, or to learn more about Maui Health’s Imaging services, call (808) 243-3012.

Rosaleen B. Parsons, MD

Diagnostic Radiology

Renaissance Imaging Medical Associates, Inc.
4100 Guardian St., Suite 205
Simi Valley, CA 93063