3D Mammography at TRA-Olympia Women's Center

Peace of Mind in 3D

3D mammography is our standard of care at TRA Medical Imaging. This technology is available to all patients for screening and diagnostic mammograms - so you won't have to choose. We offer 3D mammography at TRA - Lakewood and TRA - Olympia Women's Center. This revolutionary tool improves the early detection of breast cancer.

Watch this short video to learn more about the advantages of 3D mammography:

About 3D Mammography

Approved by the FDA in 2011, Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (tomo), more commonly known as 3D mammography, is a revolutionary screening and diagnostic breast imaging tool that improves the early detection of breast cancer. During the exam, an x-ray arm sweeps over the breast, taking multiple images in seconds. A computer then produces 3D images of your breast tissue in thin (1 mm) layers. This additional detail reduces the need for additional imaging in uncertain cases by up to 40% compared to 2D screening. 

The Benefits of 3D Mammography

Many studies in Europe and the U.S. have substantiated superior breast cancer detection rates when combining 3D mammography with conventional 2D mammography. Studies have demonstrated a 10% - 30% increase in overall breast cancer detection (over 2D imaging alone). 3D mammography has also been proven to reduce the number of call-backs for further imaging by as much as 30%. Two of the top benefits are improving the early detection of breast cancer and providing peace of mind due to increased accuracy.

3D Mammography vs. 2D Mammography

Traditional digital mammography takes two-dimensional pictures of the breast and is still one of the most advanced tools available for detecting breast abnormalities. Since there could be a significant amount of overlapping tissue in 2D images, this results in difficulty differentiating a real lesion from normal overlapping tissue. Rather than viewing the breast tissue in 2D images, our radiologists can examine the tissue one thin layer at a time, in a sense traveling through the structure of the breast like flipping pages of a book. Fine details are more visible and are less likely to be hidden by overlapping tissue.

Radiation and 3D Mammography

3D mammography is safe. Radiation exposure to the breast is very low. The radiation dose for a combined 2D/3D mammography exam is well below the acceptable limits defined by the FDA, and is only a fraction of the level of radiation everyone receives annually from the natural background of being outdoors. There is no evidence that this low level of radiation has any significant effect on the breasts. As with any x-ray, patients should inform their technologist before an exam if they are (or may be) pregnant.

What to Expect

No additional breast compression is required for a 3D mammogram. The exam looks and feels like mammograms you've had in the past – it just takes a few seconds longer.

Referrals & Financial Assistance

For women ages 40 and older, no written referral is needed from a health care provider for a routine annual (screening) mammogram. We also provide financial assistance so all patients can access essential mammography services.