Phoenix, Arizona (NAPSI) - My colleagues and I recently published results of the largest study of its kind on 3D mammograms, and the outcome is big news for women: This new screening method finds 41 percent more invasive cancers than traditional mammograms and decreases the likelihood of false alarms. This can help save women’s lives, since 3D mammograms help doctors find breast cancer early, when it’s most treatable.

Considering that one in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in her life, access to the best screening technology is very important.

For the patient, the test itself is very similar to an ordinary 2D mammogram. However, for the doctor, much more information is available. In a way, it’s like the difference between an open book and a closed book. If you only look at the cover, similar to traditional mammography, you can’t see what is inside. However, 3D mammography is like being able to open the book, seeing everything in between, page by page. This allows doctors to look at different layers of breast tissue and helps us find cancers that might be hidden behind normal tissue. This ultimately allows us to diagnose potential problems more accurately.

One reason our study is so significant is the sheer number of mammograms reviewed. Because it is 10 times larger than other studies to date, and because the data came from both academic and community health care settings, it tells a compelling story about the effectiveness of 3D mammography.

More and more patients across the country now have the opportunity to receive 3D exams because more and more doctors are adopting this new standard in mammography.

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For further facts on the benefits of 3D mammography, talk to your doctor and visit for a list of some 3D mammography providers nearby.

• Dr. Friedewald is a radiologist and co-medical director of the Caldwell Breast Center at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. She was lead author of The Journal of the American Medical Association article “Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in Combination With Digital Mammography” (JAMA, 6/25/14).