Of the millions of women who get their mammogram each year, the vast majority will be told that their results are normal. However, if you do have an abnormal screening mammogram, you will need to undergo further testing.
On a mammogram, fat looks dark grey or black whereas breast tissue looks white. That white area can be an issue because many small breast cancers also appear as white, so it’s harder to detect them in dense breasts.
Advancements in technology have improved screening quality while decreasing the need for additional images. In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of tomosynthesis or 3D screening mammography. Since then, multiple studies have found that 3D screenings have reduced the need to recall patients for additional images up to 17 percent.
Let’s face it: no cancer is a good cancer. But if you do get cancer, being diagnosed at Stage 0 might be considered a best-case scenario. This year, an estimated 252,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, with 63,410 of those women being diagnosed with "in situ" breast cancer, often referred to as Stage 0.
You may have heard about a technology called 3D mammography. We get quite a few questions about it from patients in our Breast Center. I’m very happy to announce that we now have the capability to offer 3D mammograms at the Roswell Park Mammography Center, but it’s important to understand what 3D mammography is used for and who will benefit most from the technology.