3-D mammography

Why Legacy offers 3-D mammography to all patients

3-D mammography reveals more, so more cancers are caught. Also, more cancers are found earlier when treatment is most successful. 

The largest study to date on the effectiveness of 3-D mammography 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 study, published June 25, 2014 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Make an appointment: Oregon - 503-413-7800; Washington - 360-487-1800.


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

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.

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 imaging provides two flat images of the breast—one from the top of the breast and one from the side. Three-dimensional imaging provides images of the breast in 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 will reduce 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 offer 3-D mammography to all patients. For an appointment call:

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