If you have dense breasts, you need to read this post. If you don’t know, you need to ask your doctor. Dense breasts make it difficult for an ordinary mammogram to accurately detect cancer. Women with dense breast tissue who conscientiously schedule regular mammograms may also be the one whose cancer is overlooked. But never fear, there’s a new mammogram technology for those with dense breast tissue in town.
Three mammograms and the radiologists missed my breast cancer. Imagine my discouragement when my doctors in Chicago told me that three mammograms had missed my tumor, but it was there. That’s when I heard the words, “You have dense breasts which makes reading a mammogram more difficult.”
Wish I had known sooner. I might have avoided chemotherapy had my cancer been detected earlier. Today, doctors should be telling you if you have dense breasts so you can be even more proactive. You of all women should be doing self-breasts checks monthly. Fortunately during my cancer journey, a new mammogram technology is now available the country called 3D mammograms. If you have dense breasts, you should demand this new screening technology even if your insurance company makes you pay the upcharge. You may also have to travel to where they are located as not all medical facilities have them.
The mammogram technician told me that the 3D mammogram contains no more radiation than the regular mammogram. And over the years, even the regular mammogram emits less radiation than the years before. If you’ve ever been called back for another mammogram for clarification, this new technology will help reduce those recalls.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “A 3D mammogram (breast tomosynthesis) is an imaging test that combines multiple breast X-rays to create a three-dimensional picture of the breast. This technology offers advantages in detecting breast cancer in people with dense breast tissue because the 3D image allows doctors to see beyond areas of density. Breast tissue is composed of milk glands, milk ducts and supportive tissue (dense breast tissue) and fatty tissue.”
Technology and treatments continue to improve for cancer patients. Unfortunately, the rates of acquiring cancer are only increasing which brings me back to the purpose of this blog—prevention. We’ve come a long way baby to get where we are today with breast cancer.
Don’t be complacent about breast cancer. You are your own best weapon against this dreaded disease. Be the new sheriff in town. Be your own best advocate. This new 3-D mammogram technology for dense breast tissue is a great place to start for the estimated 40 percent of women estimated to have them.
How many of you have heard of this technology? What centers near you already have this new screening technology? Is your insurance paying for it?
For your health,