Nothing about 3-D ever has been as life-changing as the way 3-D in mammograms can "see" breast tissue. Digital breast tomosynthesis, the name for these high-tech trouble-spotters, can identify 22 percent more cancers and avoid many false-positives (and unnecessary biopsies, particularly among women with dense breast tissue and younger women) that result from use of conventional digital mammogram machines. And they're potentially life-saving for people with a family history of BRCA-2 breast cancer. New information reveals that family members who test BRCA-2-free are still at a much-increased risk of breast cancer, compared with folks with who have no family history of BRCA-2. For them, mammograms need to be as accurate as possible, every time, and 3-D images are just that.
Other people who might be grateful for the imaging power of tomosynthesis? Anyone with high LDL cholesterol is at increased risk for estrogen-dependent breast cancer (about 75 percent of breast cancers). That's because a byproduct of cholesterol acts like estrogen in the body, making folks with high cholesterol more vulnerable. Regular 3-D screenings can catch breast cancer at its earliest and most curable stage.
Bonus tip: If you have elevated LDL, taking a cholesterol-lowering statin and aspirin are smart ways to reduce breast-cancer risk; statins reduce the estrogen-like powers of that cholesterol byproduct, and a daily aspirin cuts the risk by 40 percent.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.