Skip to main content

What is a 3D Mammography?

3D mammography, or digital breast tomosynthesis, is a technology that can make it easier to detect signs of breast cancer. It’s performed similarly to 2D digital mammography, but uses computer software to create more detailed images.

Often 2D and 3D mammography are performed at the same screening at the recommendation of your Women’s Health Arizona provider.

The Benefits of 3D Mammography

3D mammography is performed in the same way as traditional 2D mammography—by compressing your breasts to get X-ray images. However, instead of producing a flat image of the breast, 3D mammography produces digital photos with multiple angles and layers.

This type of digital mammography can be especially beneficial if you have dense breast tissue. Not only are women with dense breasts typically at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, but the breast tissue may obscure the view of cancerous cells on a traditional 2D mammography scan.

With more detailed images that have additional angles and layers, radiologists can get a better view of abnormal breast tissue and small tumors. The increased sensitivity of 3D mammography can decrease unnecessary biopsies, improve cancer detection, and reduce health-related stress overall.

Should I Get 3D Mammography?

Typically, 3D mammography is recommended in addition to 2D mammography if you’re at least 30 years old and have certain risk factors for breast cancer, like:

  • A family history of breast cancer or other inherited types of cancer
  • BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations
  • A history of high-risk breast biopsy results

However, 3D mammography can be beneficial for any woman, especially if you have dense breast tissue. Your provider will discuss screening methods with you to determine whether 3D mammography is the right choice.

Young woman following a 3D mammography screening

Contact Women’s Health Arizona for Your Breast Cancer Screening

If you’re older than 30 with breast cancer risk factors or over the age of 40 with average risk, then you should schedule a mammogram annually. Contact your Women’s Health Arizona provider to ask about your next mammogram today!

Sign Up for Our Newsletter