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MMC Offers 3D Mammography

October 22nd, 2014

Murfreesboro, TN - Murfreesboro Medical Clinic is now offering 3-dimension (3D) mammography (also called breast tomosynthesis) for enhanced detection of breast cancer. This screening is performed at the same time as the traditional 2-dimenion (2D) exam and no additional compression is required. Screening exams that include a 3D mammogram prove to be more accurate for women with dense breasts (about 40% of all women) in finding cancers that have previously been missed by 2D mammographyalone.

“The breast is a 3-dimensional object composed of many different structures, such as blood vessels, milk ducts, and fat.  Viewing all of these structures as a 2-dimensional flat image in women with dense breasts makes it difficult to find abnormalities. In other words, trying to find a lump in a breast is like trying to find a blueberry hidden in a bowl of oatmeal. A 3D mammogram allows the radiologist to look at the breast tissue in one-millimeter slices, free from the confusion of overlapping tissue,” explained MMC President and Comprehensive Breast Center surgeon, Dr. Jimmy Carter.

A number of clinical studies have shown that when a 3D mammogram is used in conjunction with the traditional 2D mammogram, the detection of invasive breast cancers increased by as much as 41%, as well as a 29% increase in the detection rate of all breast cancers. Furthermore, utilizing the 3D mammogram allowed for a 15% decrease in the number of women asked to be recalled for additional imaging due to false positives.

“The 3D technology is a great leap forward in the detection of breast cancer,” Dr. Carter continued. “We are excited to be one of a few facilities in the area to offer it. The detection rate is much greater and we minimize the number of return visits for additional testing because we can see all the way through the breast tissue.”

“3D mammograms are the most extensive breast exams available,” said MMC Comprehensive Breast Center physician, Dr. Lisa White. “It’s just as safe as the 2D and there is no additional compression, so that means that patients with implants aren’t at any further risk.”

At this time, 3D mammography is still new technology and is currently not covered under health insurance plans, but is expected to be covered soon. A fee of $50 is paid at the time of the visit and the 2D portion is billed to insurance as usual. To learn more about 3D mammography or to schedule an appointment, visit or call 615-867-8040. 

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