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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Digital breast tomosynthesis

Digital breast tomosynthesis creates a 3D 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 3D approach captures multiple views from a variety of angles in seconds.

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 3D 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.

Learn more about breast cancer diagnostics.