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We See in 3D

Wake Radiology offers conventional 2D as well as Hologic Genius™ 3D mammography. 3D mammography is offered at most of our breast imaging locations. Learn more!

3D mammography

Evening, Saturday and same-day appointments are available, plus walk-ins are welcome. While patients must have seen a primary care doctor in the past 18 months, a signed physician referral is not required for this annual exam. Wake Radiology’s offices are staffed with experienced female mammography technologists who have completed comprehensive testing to become registered in this specialty by the American College of Radiology. Our physicians are board certified in the field of radiology and are experts in mammography interpretation.

Get the Facts about Mammography

The Facts About 40 Common Mammogram Questions 
 Steps Towards the Best Breast ExamCall Backs for Breast Exams

icon-facts40Wake Radiology recognizes the confusion that many women have about when is the right time to begin screening annually. At Wake Radiology, we continue to believe that high-quality annual mammography starting at age 40 remains a woman’s best chance of early detection of breast cancer and saving lives. The following medical organizations affirm that 40 is the right age to start screenings.


American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists40Annually
American College of Radiology/Society of Breast Imaging40Annually
American Medical Association40Annually
National Comprehensive Cancer Network40Annually
American Cancer Society40
(Individual choice)
45-54 Annually
55-Older Every 1-2yrs.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force40
(Individual choice)
50-74: Every 2yrs.

The following are more facts that that offer continued support for starting screening mammography at age 40:

  • Long-term follow up in multiple studies have shown an 18-29% reduction in breast cancer mortality when annual screening is done between ages 40-50.
  • Mammography detected breast cancer in the 40-50 age group results in lower-stage disease detection which results in reduced treatment and lower rates of recurrence.
  • It is estimated that approximately 30% of the years of life lost to breast cancer is due breast cancer detected age 40-49.


  • Even if physicians and patients use an expanded definition of what is considered a high-risk screening, 66% of all malignancies in this age group would still be missed.
  • The advent of 3D mammography is improving cancer detection rates for mammography while decreasing false alarms. This technology also improves cancer detection in more dense breasts, a significant issue for the 40-45 age group. In addition, 3D mammograms are helping to reduce patient anxiety and, because of better image clarity, lower the need for additional tests.


Join Wake Radiology in supporting full insurance coverage for 3D mammography. Learn how you can be an advocate for you, your friends and your loved ones!

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide.
A mammogram can detect cancer early, when it is most treatable.

Even though this is the case, nearly a third of American women currently do not get regular mammograms.

Did you know that Wake Radiology offers the Genius ™ 3D Mammography ™ exams, the only mammogram proven to detect breast cancer 15 months earlier, reduce unnecessary callbacks by up to 40% and find 41% more invasive cancers than conventional mammography alone. Get the facts and download the brochures here:


Wake Radiology offers conventional 2D as well as 3D mammography. Evening, Saturday and same-day appointments are available, plus walk-ins are welcome. Watch the Video…

There is nothing more important to Wake Radiology, than our patients’ experience. Check out some of the stories our patients have shared with us. One may possibly impact you or help you through your health journey.  Learn more…

NCI Breast Cancer Risk Calculator

Calculate your risk of breast cancer through the National Cancer Institute.

Steps Toward the Best Possible Breast Examination


Have your mammogram performed at a facility that displays the American College of Radiology certificate of accreditation in mammography. This certificate indicates that qualified female personnel who are registered in mammography are performing your examination. It also assures you that board certified radiologists will interpret your films, and that dedicated mammographic equipment is being used to ensure optimum radiographic examinations with the lowest possible radiation dosage.


Recognize that your nervousness is natural and know that the staff will make every effort to minimize this.


Try to schedule the mammogram within 1 week after your period, or when your breasts are least sensitive.


Don’t wear deodorant or powders when having a mammogram. Some contain aluminum flecks which can show on the x-ray and make it difficult for the doctor to interpret.


For your own comfort, you should wear a two-piece outfit, such as pants and a blouse, so you only have to remove your top garments and not be completely undressed.

Call Backs for a Diagnostic Mammogram

Note that the American Cancer Society states that most women will have negative results from a screening mammogram. If a diagnostic mammogram is necessary as a result of a screening mammogram, no significant abnormality is found in the majority of cases. Even if a significant abnormality is found on a diagnostic mammogram, and a biopsy is necessary, remember that only one out of every four women will have cancer in her biopsy specimen.

Common Mammogram Questions

What is a 3D mammography and its benefits?

3D mammography is a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic tool designed for early breast cancer detection. We believe this is the most exciting breast screening breakthrough in nearly 20 years. 3D mammography is performed in conjunction with a traditional 2D digital mammogram to create a more complete picture of the breast. During the 3D part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple images. A computer then produces a layered 3D image of the breast tissue and the radiologist can scan through the 1mm images like pages in a book. Said another way, 3D mammography provides greater detail and allows the radiologist to see “inside” the breast layer by layer to find cancers earlier than ever. There are many recognized names for 3D mammography such as breast tomosynthesis, digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), 3D breast tomosynthesis, 3D tomosynthesis, tomosynthesis and tomo. arrow Download 3D Mammography Facts

Here are some of the benefits:

  • 3D-vs2D_newGreater accuracy for earlier and easier detection. With conventional mammography the radiologist views the breast tissue in a flat image. Sometimes breast tissue appears overlapped, making it difficult to see all the individual structures and making normal breast tissue look abnormal. 3D mammography virtually eliminates these challenges and allows the radiologist to better see the different structures as well as the location, size and shape of any abnormal tissue, such as smaller, more invasive cancers. 3D mammography has been shown to improve breast cancer detection by 27-50%.
  • Fewer call backs. In the past, if the radiologist saw an area that was questionable, the patient would be asked to return for additional imaging. Now, when the breast tissue can be seen in smaller, thinner sections, the “second look” is frequently unnecessary. 3D mammography has been shown to lower recall rates by 17-40%.


Am I a candidate for 3D mammography?

Wake Radiology physicians believe all patients will benefit from this revolutionary technology regardless of breast density or family history of breast cancer. Doctors and scientists agree that early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. Clinical studies have shown that 3D mammography is more accurate than conventional mammography alone by detecting cancers earlier as well as reducing recall rates.

How do I choose 3D screening for my appointment?

3D mammography is an optional addition to our traditional 2D digital mammography exam. You may request 3D when you schedule your routine mammography appointment, either through our online appointment form or by phone at 919.232.4700

Where can I schedule my 3D screening mammogram?

Wake Radiology offers 3D mammography at multiple Triangle locations: Chapel Hill, Cary Breast Center, North Hills Breast Center in Raleigh, Garner, Smithfield, and Wake Forest. Even if you typically go to other Wake Radiology locations (or another provider altogether), we will be able to access your prior exams for comparison. Our friendly schedulers will help you find the Wake Radiology 3D mammography closest to you, simply call 919-232-4700 to schedule today!

What if I need to return for additional imaging after my 3D screening mammogram?

If you have a 3D mammogram and are called back for additional breast imaging, you will need to return to one of our Diagnostic Imaging/Breast Centers, North Hills, Cary, Chapel Hill, or Garner, for those exams. This distinction is important as our radiologists will need to have the 3D images available for comparison purposes.

What if my doctor did not mention 3D mammography to me?

3D tomosynthesis is an optional service at this time and elected by the patient. Since this is a new, leading-edge technology, many physicians are unaware of its availability in the Triangle. However, given the extremely impressive clinical results for 3D mammography, local doctors who know about it are very supportive of our decision to invest in this technology. You can schedule a 3D mammogram on your own or choose to discuss the benefits of 3D mammography with your doctor before scheduling your next exam to determine if this new test is right for you.

Are there any risks with 3D mammography?

3D mammography is approved for use by the FDA and very low X-ray energy is used during the exam. While there is more radiation than with 2D mammography, the amount used for a 3D exam is less than the recommended guidelines of the American College of Radiology (ACR) for 2D mammography alone.

Can I have a 3D mammogram if I have breast implants?

Yes. 3D mammograms have a specific setting for breast implants. 3D images of the breast are taken of the tissue in front of the implant in addition to the regular images of the breast.

Is there an additional cost for 3D mammography and will my insurance cover it?

The screening mammogram will be filed with your insurance carrier in two parts: The 2D mammogram fee and a $70 Tomosynthesis (3D mammogram) fee. 2D screening mammograms are covered by health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Some insurers will not cover the 3D mammogram charge because the technology is newer. If your insurance carrier does not cover the 3D portion of your mammogram, you will receive a bill from Wake Radiology for $70. Please don’t let the cost of the 3D mammogram keep you from choosing this breakthrough technology. Wake Radiology regularly provides payment plans to help you manage the costs of your care, including 3D mammography.  We are happy to extend payments over time (without interest or additional fees) to assist you.

Medicare patients won’t have an out of pocket expense with a screening 3D mammogram as Medicare began covering the service in 2015.  

What if I don’t have insurance?

Patients without insurance who want 3D mammography are charged for the regular 2D mammogram plus the additional fee for the 3D tomosynthesis.

Why does Wake Radiology offer an exam that is not yet covered by insurance?

Wake Radiology prides itself on offering the highest quality care to our patients. This includes offering new and emerging technologies that have been FDA approved and scientifically proven but not yet widely accepted for coverage and payment by the health insurance industry.

Who is at Risk?

It is estimated that at this very moment, more than half a million American women have undiagnosed breast cancer— cancer that could be detected with a quality mammogram. Breast cancer can spread and kill. This year alone, 15,000 lives could be saved through early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that one out of every eight women will develop breast cancer. You cannot change these numbers, but you can increase your chances for survival and a full productive life. The key is early detection.  You can make a difference.

How is a Mammogram Performed?

A mammogram is performed in an upright position. The breast tissue is firmly compressed between two plates for a complete view of the entire breast. Generally, two or three views are taken of each breast. If a patient chooses to have a 3D mammogram the unit will then sweep over the breast in an arcand take the additional 15 low-dose pictures. The images of the breast tissue are compiled for the radiologist to review and compare to any previous mammograms. Cancer usually appears as a more dense, irregular area than the surrounding breast tissue.


Is the Radiation From the Mammogram Harmful?


Mammography is a safe, low-dose X-ray technique. The risk of developing breast cancer as a result of this amount of radiation is equal to the risk of dying from lung cancer after smoking one-fourth of a cigarette.


Do I Need to have a Screening Mammogram if I do Not Have any Lumps in my Breast?

Even without visible or palpable lumps in your breast, you could have developing breast disease. Periodic screening is used to scan the breast for possible irregularities that you may not be able to feel; sometimes as much as two years before they can be felt.


Does a Mammogram Take the Place of a Manual Breast Examination?


No. The best chance a woman has for early detection of cancer is to combine annual screening mammograms with a manual breast examination by an experienced doctor. A woman should also practice monthly breast self examination.


What is the Difference between a Screening and Diagnostic Mammogram?


Diagnostic mammography is a targeted examination for women with specific breast problems. The procedure is similar to a screening mammogram; however, several additional views may be required.


What is a Baseline Mammogram?


A baseline mammogram is the name used for your first screening mammogram. It is important because it is usually used as the basis for comparison in later tests.


Why Aren't Mammogram 100% Foolproof?


Breast tissue is different in all women. Sometimes a cancer is not imaged on the mammogram because the surrounding breast tissue is the same density as the cancer. Mammograms do not image 10%–20% of the cancers. This is why you also need to have periodic physical exams by a qualified doctor.

When and Why Would I Need a Breast Ultrasound?

In order to complete your breast imaging exam, the radiologist may request a breast ultrasound. An ultrasound of the breast is a valuable aid to mammography. It is often used to determine the composition of structures in the breast that can be felt or that are detected on the mammogram. If you have been to our office for a screening mammogram, you may be contacted to return for a breast ultrasound. Patients receiving diagnostic mammograms can usually have an ultrasound performed while you are in the office on a work-in basis.

Accredited facilities conveniently located throughout Triangle

PrintWake Radiology offers breast imaging services at many Triangle locations, and all services are interpreted by board certified radiologists, many of who are dedicated to breast imaging. All of the offices are accredited by the American College of Radiology and have earned the ACR’s highest recognition as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (BICOE). 3D mammography is available at most Wake Radiology Triangle locations!

  • Wake Radiology North Hills Breast Center – 3D Available!
  • Wake Radiology Cary Breast Center – 3D Available!
  • Wake Radiology Chapel Hill – 3D Available!
  • Wake Radiology Fuquay-Varina – 3D Available!
  • Wake Radiology Garner – 3D Available!
  • Wake Radiology Smithfield – 3D Available!
  • Wake Radiology West Raleigh Mammography – 3D Available!
  • Wake Radiology Morrisville Women’s Imaging
  • Wake Radiology Wake Forest Mammography – 3D Available!

Download our office hours and locations!

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