How Does 3D Mammography Differ from 2D?

Technology progression is constant, and the tools for early breast cancer detection are always improving. Women going in for breast cancer screening today could experience 2D or 3D imaging. Both are good. But, there are some differences…

  • Technology – X-ray technology is used with mammograms to generate an image of the breast. In 2D mammography, an x-ray arm shoots images of the breast, but can only generate a flat image. With 3D mammography, it can provide “slices” of images, so there are more images available to evaluate.
  • Accuracy – Because of the technology of 3D is creating far more images than the 2D technology cannot create, accuracy is greatly improved with 3D imaging. There are fewer false-positive results with 3D as well, because of the ability to view more of the tissue more clearly. This helps eliminate unnecessary repeat tests.
  • Clarity – Women with dense tissue in their breasts have been at a disadvantage with 2D imaging, because the density makes it more difficult to get clear pictures when it’s a flat image. With 3D, the clarity significantly improves, due to the ability to take images in “slices” and reconstruct the breast for imaging.
  • Safety – Exposure to radiation should be kept to a minimum, of course. But, the difference in the amount of radiation between 2D and 3D is the same. The difference is that with 3D mammography, the need for repeat testing is far less, because the clarity and accuracy is better than it is with 2D imaging.

So, there are differences between 2D and 3D mammography. However, both are still a good option for viewing the breast tissue. Your doctor will be able to help you decide which one would be best for you. But, there are reasons why 3D might be better for some women.

To schedule Breast MRI exam please call us at (248) 740-0777.