Breast tomosynthesis — often referred to as 3D mammography — is a new technology that converts digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers to build a three dimensional mammogram.
3D mammography is most beneficial for women with:
- Dense breast tissue per mammographic image
- Patients with a greater than 20 percent lifetime risk of developing breast cancer per risk evaluation
- Certain patients who have had an abnormal mammogram
3D mammography is slightly higher in radiation than the standard 2D mammogram. The radiation is roughly doubled when a 2D mammogram is done in conjunction with a 3D mammogram. Even this combined dose is still below the FDA-regulated limit for 2D mammography and has been found — by the FDA — to be safe and effective for patient use. Although 3D mammography may help to reduce the amount of call backs, call backs with follow up ultrasound may be needed.