Also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, this is a special type of screening mammography approved by the Food and Drug Administration FDA in 2011, which creates a 3-dimensional image of the breast tissue by using multiple xray images taken from multiple angles by a rotation xray beam. The advantages of this type of imaging include the detection of slightly more breast cancers than two dimensional mammography. It also limits the need for a follow up mammogram taken from a different angle as it visualises the breast from all angles.
However, since 3 dimensional mammography takes multiple xray images, it may expose the patient to more radiation than a conventional mammogram. Digital breast tomosynthesis is also slightly more expensive than two dimensional mammography. The bottom line is that there isn’t enough evidence to prove that 3D mammography is necessarily better than 2D mammography when it comes to the mortality rate, but that the new technology shows promise. One study, which compared digital breast tomosynthesis with two dimensional mammography, showed that the former was much more accurate than the latter.