The latest mammography advancements and what woman under 50 need to know

Breast imaging is performed to gain earlier detection of breast cancer and other possible breast diseases. While no one enjoys having mammography done, today’s technology makes a mammogram faster, more comfortable and more accurate. DBT or digital breast tomosynthesis is also called 3D mammography or full-field digital mammography, is the latest technology used to increase the sharpness of the picture of the breast, and to more easily define what lies inside the structure of the breast.

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis or 3D Breast Imaging

Digital breast tomosynthesis technology remains a top choice of women under 50 who require mammography. Radiologists who have used (DTB) choose this technology to screen women for breast cancer because:

• DBT provides technicians and physicians with several low-dose angles of images of the breast. These high-resolution images can be viewed individually or in cine mode for clear, quick viewing.
• DBT’s reconstructed tomographic images have a higher chance of identifying a lesion or tumor than doing 2D mammographic images. A doctor using this technology can more easily see overlapping breast features using DBT.
• Using the DBT’s technology allows for superior ability to diagnose whether a lesion is cancerous or not.
• DBT’s Hexagon Close Pattern technology allows for images to be completed very quickly. In some cases, images are made in only 15 seconds. This technology also allows for better views than does traditional square pixel viewing.
• The shape of the instrument’s paddle is more comfortable for a woman’s breast.

Frequently Asked Questions about 3D Mammograms

What is a DBT procedure like?

DBT provides early detection for people with breast cancer. With its enhanced imaging technology, the superb pictures available through 3D mammography ( allow physicians to make more accurate, earlier diagnoses regarding any abnormal growths occurring in the breast tissue.

During this testing procedure, an x-ray arm moves over the breast, taking images of the tissue in slices or small sections. This smaller cross section of images allows doctors to scrutinize each small section of the breast for possible health problems such as breast cancer.

What are the benefits of DBT Mammography?

DBT mammography ( offers physicians and their patients the opportunity to gain superior breast cancer detection due to the excellent pictures gained by the technology. In fact, breast cancer diagnoses have increased as much as 30 percent since the technologies inception. The more breast cancer that is detected, and the sooner breast cancer is found, the more lives can be saved.

Also, the excellent views afforded by this stellar technology make diagnosing cancer of the breasts more accurate. Instead of having two or more tests, in many cases, a person who uses 3D methods of mammography usually only needs one set of imaging done.

Do patients need to have a doctor’s referral to be tested using the 3D mammography?

If an individual is past the age of 40, they will most likely not need a doctor’s note to use this technology. Individuals younger than 40 may need a written doctor’s referral before they are screened.

Does a 3D mammogram use less radiation than more traditional methods of screening?

Breast radiation exposure is very low when a 3D mammogram is used. This level is much lower than the recommended level of radiation approved by the FDA.
Who can use full-field digital mammography?

Most people can use the technology used in DBT or full-field digital mammography. Women who are pregnant should consult their doctor before having this test performed.