I’m in my 30’s, and when my doctor recommended I get a mammogram because of some unexplained breast pain, I realized I didn’t have many peers that had mammogram before!
I knew it involved some possible pain, and I had visions of my breasts being smushed into pancakes! I was more than a bit nervous, but cancer screenings are important to me – so I soldiered on!
I wanted to hear from someone my own age about just what to expect – who would tell me honestly what it was like. But I couldn’t really find anything. So I decided to record my own experience in hopes that it will help someone else who is nervous about their first mammogram!
It just so happens that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so it seems like the perfect time to share this video with you – my impressions of getting a regular Mammogram combined with a 3D Mammogram.
Some Reasons you might want to add a 3D Mammogram to your Regular One:
- Younger women with dense breasts could potentially benefit the most, many doctors feel. Radiologists can have a harder time picking out cancers in dense breasts, because both cancers and dense tissue appear as white on a mammogram. And that is common in younger women.
- In the April issue of Radiology, Mammograhic Tomosynthesis (3D mammography) was shown to benefit all classes of women. The use of mammography plus tomosynthesis in a screening environment resulted in a greater cancer detection rate, and enabled the detection of more invasive cancers while reducing the over all number of false positives.
- The 3-D version enables radiologists to scroll through images of breast tissue a layer at a time, improving their ability to see some questionable areas more clearly.
Some Reasons why a 3D Mammogram might not be for you:
- Most insurance does not cover a 3D Mammogram, requiring you to pay out of pocket. Fees can range from no extra charge at some facilities, to more than $100 at others. I paid $50 for mine.
- A 3D Mammogram does expose you to a higher level of radiation.
- Not all doctors feel 3D mammograms are necessary or recommended since they may only ultimately benefit a small group of women.
Ultimately, I felt lucky to have the option of a 3D Mammogram at the facility I went to. The Mammogram tech also said that since I’m on the younger side, having the 3D pictures of my breast tissue to refer back to in the coming years is likely to be of great benefit to my doctors in the future. They will be able to more easily compare what changes may have occurred in my breasts over time by comparing the 3D images I got taken today, with those I get taken as I age.
Despite being really apprehensive about getting a mammogram to begin with – I left feeling totally empowered and glad I did it! I hope my experience can help someone else to go into their Mammogram experience feeling less apprehensive and a little more informed!