Early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that every woman over 40 should receive a mammography once a year. Until now, the best way to find cancer in its earliest stages has been with digital mammography.
Breast tomosynthesis converts digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers – building what is essentially a “3-dimensional mammogram.” During the tomosynthesis part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple breast images in seconds. A computer then produces a 3D image of your breast tissue in one-millimeter layers. This allows the radiologist to see breast tissue in a way never before possible. Fine details are more clearly visible, no longer hidden by the tissue above and below.
A 3D mammogram may be used as a screening tool along with a traditional digital mammogram as part of your annual screening to capture more breast images.