How can 3D mammography reduce the risk of a false-positive result?

Anne C. Hoyt, MD
Diagnostic Radiology
According to the National Cancer Institute, about half of all women screened for breast cancer each year for 10 years will experience an anxiety-producing false-positive result. With 3D mammography (or digital breast tomosynthesis), 15% fewer women are asked to return for an additional evaluation. The most common cause of a false-positive mammogram result is overlapping breast tissue at different depths in the breast, which can appears as a mass or other abnormality on a conventional 2D mammogram.

With 3D mammography, the radiologist can scroll through the breast layer by layer, removing dense tissue. By doing this, your radiologist is able to determine whether or not the area of concern is an underlying mass, thus preventing any unnecessary return visits.
This content originally appeared online at UCLA Health.

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