Is a 3-D Mammogram for You?

Laura Mitchell's picture
By Laura Mitchell on April 11, 2018

If you are a woman age 40 or older, you have likely undergone mammogram screening.

It is one of the most important and effective preventive and screening interventions recommended for all women.

Several types of mammogram are available, and many people are confused about what each one does, and whether they are getting the “right” one.

The infographic below highlights the differences between traditional digital 2-dimensional mammograms and the 3-D mammogram technology that is becoming more widely available.

While some people have confused 3-D mammograms with diagnostic only mammograms, 3-D can be used for both screening and diagnostic mammograms.

See this Carilion Living article for more information about diagnostic mammograms.

When considering a 3-D mammogram, consider your age, family history and breast density.

Cost is also a consideration—Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance companies cover the cost of 2-D mammograms, but 3-D mammograms may not be covered.

Your OB/GYN or primary care provider can help you understand what’s right for you.

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This article and accompanying infographic were reviewed by Lisa Atkinson, R.T.R.(M.), M.H.A., Carilion Clinic's director of Imaging Services.