3-D mammography

3-D mammography saved her life. Now, she can keep saving others.

Thanks to 3-D mammography, breast cancer surgeon Nathalie Johnson is also a breast cancer survivor. Her 3-D mammogram found the cancer her 2-D mammogram missed. She shares her story in this video.

In Portland and Vancouver, only Legacy offers 3-D mammography to all patients. And, only Legacy offers it with less radiation (Coming fall, 2014). 

Appointments: Oregon - 503-413-7800; Washington - 360-487-1800.

Four locations: Find one near you


3-D mammography: Dr. Nathalie Johnson shares her story

Why Legacy offers 3-D mammography to all patients

3-D mammography reveals more, so more cancers are found. Also, more are found earlier when treatment is most successful. Legacy's 3-D technology delivers this higher accuracy without higher radiation. In Portland and Vancouver, this is only available at Legacy. (Coming this fall.)

The largest study on 3-D mammography, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that 3-D:

  • Finds 41% more invasive breast cancers
  • Finds 29% more breast cancers of all types
  • Results in 15% fewer false alarms

View a short video about the JAMA study.

Read an article about the latest 3-D mammography study from the University of Washington

Who should choose a 3-D mammogram?

While all women can benefit from a 3-D exam, it is particularly beneficial if you have dense breast tissue or a family history of breast cancer. Legacy offers all women a 3-D mammogram. (You can choose to have a 2-D mammogram.)

Finding breast cancer early could save your life — 99 percent of women survive breast cancer when it is found in its earliest stage.

What is the difference between traditional 2-D and the new 3-D mammograms?
Two-dimensional mammography provides two flat images of the breast—one from the top of the breast and one from the side. Three-dimensional imaging (tomosynthesis) provides images of the breast in many "slices", which allows radiologists to examine the breast tissue layer by layer. This makes it possible for doctors to see abnormalities that were hidden by overlapping tissue on 2-D mammograms. Three-dimensional mammograms also reduce the chances of getting called back for more screenings.

Is there more radiation in a 3-D versus 2-D exam?

In September (2014) Legacy is upgrading its 3-D mammography equipment to reduce the radiation dose to the same level as a 2-D mammogram.

Adding 3-D to a traditional 2-D exam increases the radiation dose somewhat, but the combination is still well below federal limits on radiation exposure. In fact, the combination emits less radiation than the amount an average person receives annually from the environment. Because 3-D imaging reduces the number of callbacks for additional screening, you could actually have reduced radiation exposure by avoiding the need for additional mammogram views.

Is the actual exam for a 3-D mammogram any different than that of a 2-D?
You will notice no difference in a 3-D mammogram versus 2-D mammogram. Compression is the same in each exam and it only takes a few seconds longer for each view. Three-dimensional imaging supplements the traditional 2-D image and is performed at the same time with the same system.

Our locations

All four Legacy Breast Health Centers and Legacy Emanuel Medical Center offer 3-D mammography to all patients. For an appointment call:

  • In Oregon: 503-413-7800
  • In Washington: 360-487-1800