Breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography, is a technology that takes very thin, low dose X-ray images through the breast, which is done in conjunction with or in place of standard a standard screening mammogram.
Standard 2D mammograms take single, flat images, providing a single view from the side of each breast. With breast tomosynthesis, 3D images are obtained as an X-ray tube sweeps over the breast and takes multiple images from different angles. This allows breast radiologist to examine tissue one layer at time
For the woman having the mammogram, very little difference is noticed, as the images are taken in a few seconds. It provides clearer images of dense breast tissue and improves cancer detection! There’s been a 30-40% increase in detection of invasive cancer compared with standard 2D mammography. It also allows for earlier detection of small cancer that may be hidden on standard 2d mammogram due to breast tissue overlapping and hiding cancer.