3D MammographyScientists have developed a new technology, breast tomosynthesis, which has been shown in clinical studies to be superior to digital mammography1. Breast tomosynthesis (3D) allows doctors to examine breast tissue one layer at a time. This exciting new technology has been approved by the FDA and is now available to you.

Breast tomosynthesis may be used in conjunction with traditional mammography (2D) as part of an annual screening to capture more breast images. “The addition of tomosynthesis to digital mammography offers the dual benefit of significantly increased diagnostic accuracy and reduced recall rates (additional scans) for non-cancer cases.”2

While traditional digital mammography is one of the most advanced technologies available, it is only a two-dimensional picture of the breast. “Approximately 20-30% of breast cancers will be missed on traditional mammography.” 3 On such a mammogram (2D), dense breast tissue can be superimposed, potentially obscuring cancers. Conversely these same overlapping structures can result in “summation” artifacts that mimic mammographic abnormalities, prompting false results.

Breast tomosynthesis or 3D Mammography as it is commonly called, is a digital mammographic technique that permits individual planes of the breast to be visualized while minimizing the impact from overlapping tissue. Unlike conventional digital mammography in which each image is created from a single exposure, tomosynthesis (or 3D) images are reconstructed from a series of low-does X-ray exposures as the X-ray source moves in an arc trajectory above the breast.

The radiologist can see breast tissue detail in a way never before possible. Instead of viewing all the complexities of the breast tissue in a flat image, the doctor can examine the tissue one millimeter at a time. Fine details are more clearly visible and no longer hidden by the tissue above or below.

The whole procedure time and radiaton dose is the same as a conventional digital mammogram. The technologist sends the completed breast study electronically to the radiologist, who studies it and reports the results directly to the patient or referring physician.

3D Mammogram
1 Hologic clinical trials presented to the FDA

2 According to Dr. Rafferty, Massachusetts General Hospital, and
Dr. Philpotts, Yale University.

3. S.L. Rose, American Journal of Roentgenology, June 2013

4 Dr. Pisano, New England Journal of Medicine, 2005