Over a year ago Washington Radiology Associates was the first to bring 3D Mammography to women across the DC metro area. We’ve performed more than 70,000 exams using this state of the art technology. With 3D Mammography, our physicians are currently experiencing increases in breast cancer detection of 38%, and reduced patient callback rates of 20 to 30%.
3D Mammography gives radiologists the ability to view inside the breast layer by layer, helping to see the fine details more clearly by minimizing overlapping tissue.
Welcome to Washington Radiology Associates. My name is Dr. Julianne Greenberg, and I am the Director of Breast Imaging for WRA. I want you to know that we now provide a new, highly beneficial technology called 3D mammography (breast tomosynthesis). I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this technology for your mammogram today. 3D mammography is helping us every day to find more early curable breast cancers.
Since August, 2011 WRA has performed more than 70,000 mammograms using 3D technology. Our extensive experience has shown that:
Our team of WRA breast imaging physicians believe strongly that 3D technology is beneficial for all our mammography patients — whether your breast tissue is fatty or dense, whether you have a history of breast cancer or not, and whether you are at high risk or not. 3D mammography allows us to examine your breast tissue in far greater detail and feel much more confident that we have the best information available when interpreting your study.
3D mammography has exceeded our expectations and we are confident in its benefits. Although insurance companies do not currently cover this service, we encourage every woman, as I have done personally, to take advantage of 3D mammography. Please let our front desk staff or our technologists know if you have any questions.
Wishing you the best of health,
Julianne Greenberg, MD
WHAT IS 3D MAMMOGRAPHY?
3D mammography is a revolutionary state of the art technology approved by the FDA in February 2011, which gives radiologists the ability to view inside the breast layer by layer, helping to see the fine details more clearly by minimizing overlapping tissue. During a 3D mammogram, multiple low-dose images known as “slices” of the breast are acquired at different angles. With 3D technology, the radiologist can view a mammogram in a way never before possible.
Is 3D a separate exam or part of my usual mammogram?
The 3D exam is a separate procedure that is performed at the same time as your regular mammogram.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
The exam will take about 4 seconds longer per view while in compression.
WHAT IS THE COST?
The charge for 3D mammography is $50. This is an eligible expense through your flexible spending account.
WILL MY INSURANCE COVER THE COST?
No. At this time, insurance does not cover the 3D portion of the mammogram. However, the 2D portion of the exam is billed to your insurance as usual.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
3D mammography results in Superior Clinical Performance through:
EARLIER DETECTION By minimizing the impact of overlapping breast tissue, 3D mammography can help improve breast cancer screening and detection. With 3D mammography, WRA radiologists are currently experiencing a 30 percent increase in breast cancer detection.
FEWER CALLBACKS 3D mammography helps distinguish harmless abnormalities from real cancers, leading to fewer callbacks and less anxiety for women. With 3D mammography, WRA radiologists have reduced patient callback rates by 20-30 percent.
BETTER VISUALIZATION Radiologists can better see the size, shape and location of an abnormality.
HOW MUCH RADIATION WILL I BE EXPOSED TO?
It varies from person to person and is roughly equivalent to film/screen mammography. The amount of radiation is below government safety standards.
HOW MANY 3D MAMMOGRAMS HAS WRA PERFORMED?
WRA is the most experienced 3D mammography provider in the Washington DC area and has performed more than 70,000 3D mammograms since August 2011. 3D mammography is in breast centers all over the country (over 46 states) and there have been millions of 3D mammograms performed on patients since it was approved in February 2011.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR 3D MAMMOGRAPHY?
WRA physicians believe that all patients benefit from this revolutionary technology regardless of breast density or family history. Doctors and scientists agree that early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. 3D mammography has been shown in clinical studies to be more accurate than conventional mammography alone by detecting cancers earlier.
Should I have a 3D mammogram even if I had one last year?
Yes! At WRA, we recommend that all women get a 3D mammogram every year as part of their annual mammography examination. Early detection provides the greatest chance for finding curable breast cancers and the best chance for early detection is with 3D mammography. Women should ask for this new technology which, in our experience, increases breast cancer detection by 38%. It’s truly an important component in the screening process.
What if my doctor did not mention 3D mammography to me?
3D is an optional service at this time and elected by the patient. Many physicians know about our new 3D technology and the feedback we have received has been very positive. If you need additional information to help you make this decision, please let the front desk know you’d like to speak to a technologist.
WHY IS WRA OFFERING 3D MAMMOGRAPHY?
WRA prides itself on offering the highest quality care for our patients. We were the first to provide 3D mammography in the Washington DC metro area, and currently we’re the largest provider in the world of this revolutionary technology. Our radiologists believe strongly that 3D mammography will benefit our patients.
WRA 3D MAMMOGRAPHY LOCATIONS:
2141 K Street, NW, Suite 200
10215 Fernwood Road
3022 Williams Drive
Washington Radiology Associates is proud to be one of the first imaging centers in the nation — and first in the DC metropolitan area — to offer 3D mammography, a breakthrough technology in the diagnosis of breast cancer.
This recently FDA-approved technique, also known as “tomosynthesis,” produces three dimensional views of the breasts. 3D tomosynthesis currently does not replace the traditional 2D mammographic views. It is a series of very low dose images that are viewed by a radiologist in a video-type format. With the addition of 3D tomosynthesis to the traditional mammogram, WRA radiologists will be able to improve breast cancer detection while decreasing the number of patients we call back for additional testing.
The total x-ray dose for combined 2D and 3D mammography is less than the FDA mandated limits, and it is similar to conventional film-screen mammography. Since 3D tomosynthesis can
markedly reduce the need for additional mammographic views, in some women the overall radiation dose will actually be decreased.
3D mammography is now available as a voluntary addition to traditional mammography at our DC, Potomac, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Fairfax and Sterling locations for patients undergoing both screening and diagnostic mammography.
In a "conventional" 2D mammogram there appears to be an area of concern that the doctor may want to further investigate with another mammogram or a biopsy. Looking at the same breast tissue in 3D “breast tomosynthesis” image slices, the doctor can now see that the tissue is in fact normal breast tissue that was overlapping in the traditional mammogram creating the illusion of an abnormal area. In this scenario this patient likely avoided a callback for an additional mammogram thanks to the tomosynthesis exam technology.