Value in 3D Mammography
by Norma E. Roth
Judy Baker didn’t think twice about having a 3D mammogram at her annual screening recently at South Jersey Radiology. “It was an available option at South Jersey Radiology that I saw value in utilizing. With continued improvements in detection, I know that 3D technology can pick up cancers in very dense breasts that regular screening can and sometimes misses.”
Judy falls into that category of 10 % of the women with very dense breast tissue. “My mother had breast cancer. I worry and wanted to get the best reading, it was a no–brainer.”
From a testing perspective, Judy says 3D is no different than a regular mammogram. “The difference is the slight upcharge, most insurances do not yet cover this test. 3D enables the doctor to see more in the reading than with a regular mammogram.”
For Judy the concern of exposure to more radiation than a regular mammogram was overshadowed by the increased accuracy of the test.
“More accurate readings reduce questions of what the doctor is seeing. Questions can result in multiple rechecks, thus exposing people to more radiation.”
A few years ago Judy was rechecked and biopsied because of questions the doctor had. “The radiation exposure paled in comparison to the mental stress I had waiting to get answers.” Judy’s past biopsies were negative and she continues to have annual breast screening. In the future, she will continue with 3D mammography.
Without hesitation Judy would recommend 3D mammography to women. But she wonders the value women really place on their health when they say they cannot afford 3D. “So many women pay for a weekly manicure, expensive hair salon treatments, eat lunch out, or drink Starbucks daily. If you brown bag your lunch or give up your $4.00 coffee for less than two weeks, you can afford a medical test that could save your life.”
About Norma E. Roth
Norma E. Roth, a breast cancer survivor, is a freelance journalist for health wellness and sustainable living. She is an advocate for annual mammography screening, believing early detection is the key to cancer survival. You can learn more about her at www.normaeroth.com.