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mammography exam


Getting a mammogram is the key to early detection of breast conditions. At Intermountain, you have access to the highest-quality digital mammography equipment and specialists

What is 3D mammography?

Breast cancer is one of the most common and treatable forms of cancer — especially when caught early.  That’s why getting regular mammograms and breast screenings should be an important part of your routine women’s health care.

3D mammography, or breast tomosynthesis, is an advanced imaging technology that produces a three-dimensional image of the breast. It provides more accurate and detailed information about breast tissue than traditional mammography.

How it works

A 3D mammogram is a screening test that uses low-dose X-rays to create a three-dimensional image of the breast tissue. The process is similar to that of a traditional mammogram, but the equipment used captures images from multiple angles.

The images produced are then reconstructed into a three-dimensional picture of the breast tissue. This technology can help doctors identify smaller tumors that may be hidden in traditional mammograms, leading to earlier detection and better treatment options.


According to the American Cancer Society, 3D mammography has several benefits over traditional mammography, including:

  • Improved cancer detection: 3D mammography is more accurate than traditional mammography, leading to earlier detection of breast cancer. This can lead to better outcomes and treatment options.
  • Fewer false positives: Traditional mammograms can produce false-positive results, leading to unnecessary follow-up tests and procedures. 3D mammography has a lower rate of false-positives, reducing the number of unnecessary procedures.
  • Better visualization: The three-dimensional image produced by 3D mammography provides better visualization of the breast tissue, allowing doctors to identify small tumors that may be hidden in traditional mammograms.
Woman having a mammogram

Schedule a 3D mammogram

Our advanced 3D mammography services provide you with precise results for early detection and accurate diagnosis of breast health conditions — so you can get to treatment and recovery faster.

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Like all medical procedures, there are risks associated with 3D mammography however, they are generally considered to be low.

Patients should speak with their doctor about the benefits and risks of 3D mammography and follow the preparation guidelines to ensure the best possible results.

  • Radiation exposure: 3D mammography uses low-dose X-rays, which are generally considered safe. However, there is still a small risk of radiation exposure, which can increase a person's risk of developing cancer.
  • False negatives: While 3D mammography is more accurate than traditional mammography, there is still a risk of false-negative results. This means that a person may have breast cancer that is not detected by the screening.

Preparation and recovery

Before the exam, you should speak with your doctor about any concerns you may have.

To prepare for your exam you should:

  • Schedule the exam at the appropriate time: The best time to schedule a 3D mammogram is one week after a menstrual period.
  • Do not wear deodorant, lotion, or powder on the day of the exam, as these products can interfere with the images.
  • Wear comfortable clothing: Patients should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that is easy to remove, as they will need to remove their top during the exam.
  • Discuss any prior breast issues: Patients should inform their healthcare provider of any prior breast issues, including surgeries, biopsies, or breast implants.

Advanced breast cancer treatment and care

Breast cancer is one of the most common and treatable forms of cancer — especially when caught early. At Intermountain, our dedicated team of breast cancer specialists will help you understand your diagnosis, review your options, and get into treatment quickly.

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Health for you

young woman getting a mammogram

3D Mammography Provides the Best in Breast Imaging

3D mammography is helping physicians make more accurate diagnosis and detect more invasive cancers. So women can take comfort in knowing time taken for a mammogram is time well spent.

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Among the many important health decisions facing women is one that has increasingly become confusing: When should women start getting regular breast cancer screenings and how often should they get a mammogram?

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