Performing self-checks each month and having annual mammograms are important any month of the year not only in October. However, fear and misinformation often lead to avoidance for many women when it comes to breast health. Routine screenings can detect early cancers and save lives.
Misinformation can come in many forms. For many of us, it can be incorrect assumptions about procedures. It can be a misunderstanding about statistics and our own genetic factors.
My friends at South Jersey Radiology Associates have generously offered some information to the readers of Pieces of a Mom regarding common misunderstandings and misconceptions about screenings to detect breast cancer.
All mammography done at South Jersey Radiology Associates (SJRA) is digital, and SJRA is the first site in the region to offer 3D mammography. SJRA Women’s Centers have been designated as Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. They have multiple locations throughout New Jersey, which you can find on their website at http://www.sjra.com/.
Did you know that the radiation dose associated with digital mammography is significantly lower (up to 22%) than conventional mammography? Many women often avoid mammography for fear that radiation to the breasts may actually do more harm than good. Research shows that women are unaware of the actual amount of radiation used during mammography and tend to overestimate the amount.
Another common concern about mammography is that of false positives, and the fear of being called back for more tests. However, 3D mammography (also known as tomosynthesis) allows multiple, low-dose images of the breasts to be acquired at different angles and can significantly detect more cancers than a traditional mammogram.
Benefits of 3D Tomosynthesis
- Offers a clearer and more precise view of breast tissue
- Is safe
- Reduces change of false postitives
- Is ideal for women with dense
- Takes less than 10 seconds for each view of the breast and feels no differently than a traditional mammogram.
Currently, tomosynthesis is not covered by insurance. However, the standard 2D mammography is covered by insurance, and tomosynthesis is offered as an additional service for a fee of $35, a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Tomosynthesis is currently available at the following SJRA locations: Vorhees Women's Center, Cross Keys Women's Center, West Deptford Women's Center, and Greentree office.
Disclosure: This post was written in conjunction with iColor Studio, LLC. All opinions are my own.