Mayo Clinic Health System: “3-D mammograms could make a difference”

(ABC 6 News) – According to, in 2022, it’s estimated nearly 288,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed. About 27,00 new cases will be diagnosed among men.

At Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, you can get a 3-D mammogram which allows doctors to get a more in-depth view of your breast and possibly detect something, sooner.

A normal mammogram shows one view which can be limiting because of breast tissue. Sometimes there are unclear results, false alarms, or the cancer is missed. Unlike the 3-D mammogram, you could need several follow-up appointments.

“We still have those two images. We kind of look from the top down and the side. With a 3-D mammogram though, we have the option of sort of scrolling through the entire breast from top to bottom and from side to side. Looking at every single corner of it, looking through all of the tissue,” said Dr. Adam Cole, a radiologist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.

“It’s very, very, helpful for radiologists and picking out the things that matter.”

According to the American College of Radiology, getting a mammogram helps reduce the chance of breast cancer related-deaths by nearly 40%.

“One of the things that people would want to know I think is does it take any extra time? Or is it even more uncomfortable? The answer is no. It’s very quick, you sit down in a chair, you do have to undergo breast compression. But then the machine is able to very quickly, take a series of quick images from a bunch of angles,” Dr. Cole explained.

“Then you switch positions, you do it one more time and you’re done. So your experience is very similar to a standard, 3-D mammogram.”

It’s recommended you start getting mammograms at age 40. Regardless of age, self-exams are important because a majority of the time, if it’s caught early, something can be done.

“Just kind of go around your breast like it’s a clock basically. Start at 12 o’clock and then just work your way around. And what you’re looking for classically, is a bump, and this isn’t always the case. But a bump that typically is not painful. Typically it feels firm. The key thing I like to say is that you can point right to it.”

If you have a relative who’s had breast cancer, say your mom had it when she was 40, Cole says you should start checking for cancer 10 years prior to when you turn that age. In this case, you would start checking for breast cancer at age 30.

The 3-D mammogram costs an additional $100. Most insurance companies will cover the cost.