LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Mammograms are vital in an early breast cancer diagnosis. One form is 3D imaging and it’s becoming more popular. It also can reduce the need for additional images.

 The advantages for a few minutes of discomfort can really help detect breast cancer with 3D images allowing doctors to see beyond areas of density.

“It’s way better for a patient to know that they’re safe because sometimes you can’t feel breast cancer,” said Veronica Knight, mammography technologist.

It’s an annual procedure with a modern-day upgrade. 3D mammography images, according to Knight at Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging Centers, are helping valley doctors see overlapping breast tissue and hopefully reduce the amounts of call backs.

“With a 3D mammogram, the radiologists are able to look through the slices of the images. So we do the four pictures and it’s converted to a computer. It creates 100’s of images that the radiologists can scroll through,” Knight said.

3D mammograms can detect up to 40% more cancers than 2D mammograms and there is no extra radiation. Staff says COVID safety is a priority and it’s also important to mention if you have been vaccinated.

“It doesn’t affect the image but sometimes things can appear a little bit swollen so the radiologist would like to see if you’ve had a vaccine and we can say it’s from the vaccine but it doesn’t effect the actual breast tissue,” Knight said.

While most doctors send a letter if the mammogram is normal, you could also get a call. It doesn’t mean you have cancer, doctors just might need another look if there is an area of concern.

“We just want to let people know seconds of compression can save your life.” Knight said.

West Valley Imaging offers a great deal for women without insurance, and low-income women who are at least 40 years old and ineligible for health insurance.