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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Digital breast tomosynthesis for breast cancer

Digital breast tomosynthesis for breast cancer

Digital breast tomosynthesis creates a 3-D picture of the breast. Tomosynthesis is similar to a standard mammogram in that it uses X-ray technology and applies the same amount of pressure to the breast. But rather than providing two views—from top to bottom and side to side—the 3-D approach captures multiple views from a variety of angles in seconds.

How it works

During the procedure, an X-ray tube moves in an arc around the breast, capturing nine images that are used to create a detailed, layer-by-layer view of the tissue. This cross-sectional perspective helps to expose a wider, deeper view of the breast.

Images are sent to a computer to create a clear, highly focused 3-D image. Tomosynthesis may be used along with traditional digital mammography as part of your annual mammogram. The technology is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a screening tool for breast cancer, but it is not yet considered standard of care.