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What is a 3D Mammography?

3D mammography, or digital breast tomosynthesis, is an advanced breast imaging technology approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011. 3D mammography produces multiple slices of low dose X-ray images of the breast from different angles, creating a 3D picture. In contrast, conventional mammography only creates 2D breast images from 2 angles. 3D mammography allows early detection of pathological changes of the breasts such as lumps, masses or tumours- well before it is noticeable by patients. It makes the diagnosis by radiologists far easier by reviewing the 3D reconstruction breast images slice by slice.


What makes Hologic Selenia Dimensions special?

Better detection. Fast. Low dose.

The Hologic 3D Mammography technology provides extraordinarily sharp images. It is proven to detect an average 41% more invasive breast cancers and 40% less false positive callbacks than the conventional 2D mammogram alone. The newly improved technology even reduces the compression of the breast to 3.7 seconds, together with the ergonomic design of the machine, patient comfort is maximised. This revolutionary system also provides the world’s first and only tomosynthesis-guided biopsy, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. 3D mammography has comparable radiation dose with conventional 2D mammography. The C-view software is able to produce 2D images from the tomosynthesis data, resulting in a low dose mammography exam.


What to expect during a mammogram exam?

You will have to undress from your waist up to get the mammogram. You and the female radiographer are the only ones in the exam room. Your breast must be compressed to get high-quality images. The radiographer will place one of your breasts on a clean X-ray plate. A separate plastic plate will be moved down on top of the breast to compress it gently against the X-ray plate. Some may find it painful and uncomfortable. However, the discomfort will be over soon as the compression process takes only 3.7 seconds. The other breast will be scanned in the same way. Each breast will be examined at different angles and a total of 4 sets of images will be produced. The whole process will take less than 20 minutes. Your report will be ready and sent within 24 hours or you may collect them in person.


Should I get a mammogram?

Women who are age 40 or above are recommended to have the screening mammogram every 2 years by the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation (HKBCF). For those who have signs and symptoms of breast cancers or have a strong family history of breast cancer, you are advised to seek medical help and book an appointment for mammography screening as soon as possible. Early detection of breast cancer makes it curable and saves lives.


Tips for getting a mammogram

  1. Please bring all your previous breast imaging reports, films or discs for comparison.
  2. Describe clearly your breast changes or symptoms to the radiographer during the exam.
  3. Try to avoid your mammogram the week before or during your period, as your breasts may be very sensitive or tender.
  4. For easy undressing, two-piece clothing is suggested such as a top and trousers.
  5. Please do not wear deodorant or perfume on the day of your mammogram. White spots may show up on the X-ray images by these products.