Health Watch

Is all Mammography 3D?

Mammograms are x-ray images that are used to detect early signs of breast cancer.

When getting a Mammogram, Watson Imaging offers 2 different x-ray options:

  • 2D
  • 3D (most common option these days)

Both of these are great ways to detect cancer early in the body. Early detection can save you time, money and your overall health. Our imaging options can detect cancerous cells and lumps before a patient may even be able to notice them. However, 2D and 3D imaging have their own set of similarities and differences.

2D Mammograms

With 2D mammography, only 2 images are taken; one from the top and one from the side. This is vastly different from 3D xrays which take around 25 images. Since there are only 2 images taken, some cancers might not be detected and this can present many different problems.

3D Mammograms

All Mammography is 3D unless the patient’s body habitus prevents Watson Imaging from doing so or if the patient specifically asks for 2D. Our 3D testing (or True Breast Tomosynthesis) takes 25 images of the breast and combines them into one 3D image. There are many benefits to a 3D mammogram versus a 2D mammogram:

  • Reduces need for other x-rays – 3D mammograms cuts back on the need for additional screening. Other types of imaging might require additional testing Importance of 3D mammographyto get clearer results or to make sure there were no false positives. This testing can be both stressful and expensive. By getting a 3D mammogram you are cutting back on the possible need for other tests.
  • Better cancer detection – Compared to 2D x-rays and other forms of testing, 3D x-rays can better detect cancer and other complications. Some patients have denser tissue than others, which requires more imaging. 3D x-rays can significantly increase the chances of early cancer detection. Though 3D x-rays can’t detect every possible cancer, there is a higher chance of catching something early with a 3D x-ray.
  • Fewer chances of a false positive – With 2D mammography, some patients have been called back for more testing due to abnormalities on their scans. The chances of having to re-do a scan or the need for additional tests is significantly lower with 3D mammography.

Early detection could save your life. Give us a call today to schedule your next mammogram appointment!

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With our convenient office hours, many procedures can take only ten minutes or less and walk-in x-rays are welcome. Please note that we do not perform ultrasounds on Saturdays.

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St. Louis, MO - Hours
Monday - Thursday
8am - 4pm
8am - 2pm
2nd & 4th Saturday
8am - 12pm
Directions & Address
3915 Watson Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63109-1251