If you have dense breast tissue you may benefit from having a 3-D mammogram. Also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, 3-D mammography creates more detailed images of your breast.
Early detection is the best protection because finding breast cancer early improves the likelihood that your treatment will be successful. Mammograms are safe and effective in detecting breast cancer in its earliest stage.
Good to know
We make these recommendations for screening mammography if you have an average risk for breast cancer, based on American Cancer Society guidelines:
- Age 25: Have a risk assessment for breast cancer with your health care provider
- Age 40-44: Should consider having a mammogram every year with your decision informed by a shared decision making process with your health care provider. During this process, he or she will explain the benefits and harms of screening.
- Age 45-54: Have a mammogram every year.
- Aage 55 and older: Have a mammogram every year or transition to having one every two years. Continue to have mammograms as long as your health is good
If you have a higher than average risk for breast cancer, your health care provider may recommend a different schedule. Talk to your health care provider about your risk level. Together, you can decide what screening schedule is right for you.
To help you in your decision-making, please see our shared decision making aid: Should you start breast cancer screenings at age 40 or 45?
Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Three-dimensional (3-D) Mammography
Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department
First published: 11/16/2017
Last reviewed: 11/16/2017