Breast health and advanced mammography
Welia Health now offers advanced mammography called 3D tomo at its Mora and Pine City clinics.
Facts about breast cancer
- In 2023, the American Cancer Society estimated that 1 in 8 women would develop breast cancer during the course of their life, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US.
- Exploring statistics by race and ethnicity, black women are more likely to die from breast cancer other than any other racial or ethnic group.
- Having a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) diagnosed with breast cancer doubles a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer.
- 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.
- Significant risk factors for breast cancer include being a woman and getting older.
- Although more common among women, an estimated 1 in 833 men develop breast cancer during the course of their life.
- Earlier detection and available treatments have reduced the death rate of women and have been steadily decreasing since 1989.
3D tomo mammography screenings
Three-dimensional (3D) tomosynthesis, often referred to as 3D tomo, is an advanced imaging screening exam used to identify possible signs of cancer in breast tissue. It is particularly useful in screening women with dense breast tissue. Because 3D mammography provides images of the breast in “slices” from many different angles, finding and assessing any abnormalities is thought to be superior with 3D imaging. Welia Health offers these exams using the DIMENSIONS™ 3D mammography technology.
Why choose the DIMENSIONS™ 3D mammography exam?
- Earlier detection – Only mammogram proven to detect breast cancer 15 months earlier
- Greater peace of mind – Reduces unnecessary callbacks by up to 40%
- More accurate – Finds 41% more invasive cancers than conventional mammograms alone
Frequently asked questions
What should I expect during the exam?
The process of a 3D exam is the same as a conventional 2D exam, only the results are more accurate. The technologist will position you, compress your breast, and take images from different angles. There is no additional compression required with the 3D exam, and it only takes a few extra seconds.
Who can have a 3D tomo mammography?
3D tomo offers a more accurate exam for women of all ages with both dense and non-dense breasts.
What about radiation?
The Dimensions™ 3D mammography exam delivers a low dose of radiation, well within FDA guidelines, comparable to a 2D mammogram.
How does the exam work?
The 3D exam allows doctors to examine breast tissue layer by layer. Instead of viewing all of the complexities of your breast tissue in a flat image as with conventional 2D mammography, fine details are more visible and are no longer hidden by the tissue above or below. Think of the pages in a book. If you look down at the cover, you cannot see all of the pages, but when you open it up, you can go through the entire book page by page to see everything between the covers.
What about the cost of a 3D mammography?
Conventional two-dimensional screening mammograms are available at no cost for patients covered by healthcare insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Some insurers will not cover 3D mammograms, and others charge women a surcharge, typically between $40-$60.
For women who may need financial assistance, the Minnesota Department of Health offers the SAGE Screening Program. Since 1991, the SAGE provider network has grown to over 450 clinic sites across Minnesota, providing breast and cervical cancer screening to more than 150,000 women.
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- FDA submissions P080003, P08003/S001
- Friedewald SM, Rafferty EA, Rose SL, et al. Breast cancer screening using tomosynthesis in combination with digital mammography. JAMA. 2014 Jun 25;311(24):2499-507.
- Zuckerman SP, Conant EF, Keller BM, et al. Implementation of Synthesized Two-dimensional Mammography in a Population-based Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Screening Program. Radiology. 2016 Dec;281(3):730-736.