Screening 3D Mammogram Provided at Mercy in Baltimore


The radiologists of The Tyanna O’Brien Center for Women’s Imaging at Mercy in Baltimore, Maryland offer routine screening for breast cancer through advanced 3D digital mammography, known as tomosynthesis. 

3D Mammography is provided to all patients at The Center for Women’s Imaging in Downtown Baltimore and at Mercy Personal Physicians at Lutherville. A Cancer Risk Assessment is offered with every mammogram.

What is Screening 3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis)?

Tomosynthesis, commonly referred to as 3D mammography, is an advanced technique used in the routine screening of breast cancer in women. Through a landmark gift and investment from a generous donor, Mercy Medical Center is one of just a few hospitals in Maryland to offer women this advanced mammography. 

As part of our comprehensive breast health services, Mercy also offers a Cancer Risk Assessment with every mammogram. Cancer Risk Assessment is a leading edge software program, designed to objectively identify women at high risk of developing breast cancer and at elevated risk of genetic mutations. Patients report detailed health/family history data on an iPad which calculates risk using clinically proven computer risk models. Our interpreting physicians then provide recommendations for patient management.


NEXT: Why should I have a Screening 3D Mammogram (Tomosynthesis)? ›
Why should I have a Screening 3D Mammogram (Tomosynthesis)?

Early detection of breast cancer plays a critical role in the successful treatment of the disease. All women are at risk of developing breast cancer and a majority of breast cancer cases occur in women with no family history of the disease. The goal of breast cancer screening is to diagnose tumors when they are small and not easily detectable through a routine physical exam. Early detection may increase the possibility for successful and less aggressive treatment options.  

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What are the advantages of Screening 3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis)?

Tomosynthesis provides a three-dimensional picture of the breast using X-ray. While traditional 2D mammography only provides the radiologist a flat image, tomosynthesis provides a 3D rendering of the breast based on multiple images taken rapidly over a matter of seconds. This advanced 3D technology used during screenings typically results in greater accuracy, increased breast cancer detection rates and decreased recall rates. 

NEXT: When should I get a Screening 3D Mammogram (Tomosynthesis)? ›
When should I get a Screening 3D Mammogram (Tomosynthesis)?

Screening mammography is recommended for women on a routine basis as part of an overall health management plan. It is completed when there are no signs or symptoms of abnormalities in the breast, but is critical in the early detection of breast cancer in women.

The American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology both recommend that all women begin yearly screening mammography beginning at age 40. Some women may have significant risk factors for breast cancer, placing them in a “high-risk” category. It may be recommended that these patients begin yearly breast screening at an earlier age. If you believe you may be at higher risk for breast cancer, you should discuss this possibility with your doctor. 

You may be considered “high-risk” if any of the following apply to you:

  • A personal history of breast cancer
  • A first-degree relative with breast cancer at a premenopausal age
  • A male relative with breast cancer
  • Multiple relatives with breast and/or ovarian cancer
  • A personal or family history of a BRCA gene mutation
  • A personal history of radiation therapy to the chest between the ages of 10 and 30
  • A personal history of breast biopsy with a diagnosis of “high-risk” lesion including atypical hyperplasia or LCIS/lobular neoplasia

NEXT: How is Screening 3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis) performed? ›
How is Screening 3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis) performed?

Before a screening 3D mammogram, it is important to avoid using deodorants, lotions, or powders on the day of your procedure since these can sometimes block the image of the X-ray. If you are experiencing any symptoms which require evaluation with diagnostic mammography, please inform us at the time of scheduling so that appropriate time is given for this exam and consultation with the radiologist. Always be sure to inform your technologist if you are having any new breast symptoms on the day of your exam.

A 3D mammogram is performed much-like traditional 2D digital mammography. During a 3D mammogram, a technologist trained in mammography uses an X-ray machine to obtain images of the breast. The technologist will position each breast on a plate within the machine to include as much of the breast tissue as possible. Compression may be applied to thin the breast tissue in order to minimize the dose of radiation to the breast. It also prevents blurring of the image and provides improved detail.  

With the breast in place, the X-ray arm sweeps over the breast, taking multiple images in a matter of seconds. These digital images are sent to a computer that creates a three-dimensional rendering of the breast, providing greater visibility for the radiologist. The radiologist evaluates the images for technical adequacy and the images are provided to your doctor for further evaluation and explanation.