3D mammograms VS 2D mammograms – What are the differences?

3D mammograms VS 2D mammograms
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Breast cancer is one of the most frequent cancers in women, accounting for around a quarter of all cancer cases in Singapore.

The increased rate of breast cancer has been alarming, and the possible solution is said to be breast screening.

Early breast screening was advised following years of research on the most effective strategy to prevent the ever-increasing number of breast cancer patients.

The recommendations also contribute to developing the most effective method of screening for breast cancer using a mammogram.

Women’s health depends on having regular mammograms after the age of 40 — or earlier if specific hereditary abnormalities or health changes raise concerns — to detect breast cancer early.

It is significantly easier to treat when breast cancer is discovered early by a woman’s healthcare team. The chances of your survival and living for many more years will be higher due to this.

Breast screening will be recommended to you when you visit a breast doctor specialized in breast screening.

You will have the option of having a 2D or 3D mammography. Each one records a specific image that radiologists can utilize to identify potential problems early on in the process.

In this blog post, we will compare 3D mammography to 2D mammography to assist you in determining which method is the best fit for you.

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What Are 2D Mammograms?

A 2D mammogram, also known as standard mammography, is a low-dose x-ray breast photograph taken from the front and side views of a woman’s breasts.

The photographs are stitched together to create a distinct picture for each breast, albeit occasionally overlapping between the images.

How does a 2D mammogram work?

During the process of a 2D mammogram, the doctor places one of the patient’s breasts on a special platform in the 2D mammography equipment, which is then turned on. The breast is then gently pulled down by a translucent plastic plate seen through the breast.

Pressure is maintained on the plates during obtaining 2D x-ray images. The technologist then repeats the procedure for the other breast, collecting images from both the front and side views.

What are 3D Mammograms?

A 3D mammogram is breast imaging that entails a continuous arc of multiple x-ray images taken from various angles around the breast is captured.

With the help of a computer imaging tool, the shots are then combined to create comprehensive 3D images of each breast. One tiny slice at a time, each layer of the breast tissue is depicted in 3D pictures, one by one.

Using radiology, radiologists can check the various layers of the body for microscopic changes that may indicate the existence of malignancy.

How 3D mammogram works

A 3D mammography is a superior mammogram since it provides more accurate images of the breast’s health than a traditional mammogram.

Traditional mammography is performed similarly, with the breast being crushed for around four to five seconds while a series of low-dose X-rays are taken to generate high-resolution images of the breast. These photos are then digitally “stacked” together to create a complete 3-dimensional image of the breast.

This 3D image enables doctors to scroll through and “peel apart” the layers of the breast to observe the breast tissue at different depths and angles, allowing them to detect previously undetectable tumors with 2D mammograms, such as breast tumors malignancies in the cervix and axilla.

Individuals who get their breasts scanned with 3D mammography equipment may also notice that they are called back less frequently for follow-up visits and extra testing.

An ultrasound-guided 3D mammography is identical to a traditional mammogram, except that the technician takes many X-rays of the breast from numerous angles. It is, therefore, possible to generate a comprehensive digital depiction of the breast by combining these photographs.

Doctors can examine small, specific portions of breast tissue due to this procedure. This level of detail may assist specialists in detecting some types of abnormal development in the tissue more effectively.

Who needs a 3D mammogram?

The doctor proposes the 3D mammogram to analyze unexpected growths or help determine the source of any symptoms a woman may be experiencing.

All women over the age of 40 should have a 3-dimensional mammogram breast screening performed annually. According to the report, starting at the age of 35, women at increased risk of breast cancer should have annual tests.

Having a 3D mammography performed might benefit women who have dense breast tissue. This is because thick breast tissue can cause pictures obtained by 2D mammography to appear foggy or indistinct.

Cancerous tumors and tumor markers appear thick and white when viewed on an X-ray imaging. Dense breast tissue can also seem white, which might make any signs of abnormal growth difficult to detect.

Because 3D mammograms use many images of different layers of tissue, it is easier for a doctor to discover unexpected growths even in dense breast tissue when using this technique.

People who have atypical symptoms or breast disease indicators may also require a 3D mammography to rule out the possibility of cancer. Furthermore, 3D mammograms can lessen the requirement for follow-up imaging.

At the luma center, they will examine you and determine if you need a mammogram. It is a 3D mammogram center in Singapore. You will be attended by a specialist and will determine if you have breast cancer or not.

Difference between 2D and 3D Mammograms

There are several characteristics that separate 2D from 3D. Mammograms of two varieties differ in picture detail, diagnostic applications, practicality, and clarity, among other characteristics. The following section goes into greater detail about each of these characteristics.

Clarity of the image

A 3D mammogram allows the radiologist to visualize the breast tissue and its composition more clearly than a 2D mammogram.

Finer features are brought into clearer focus, and minute structures are revealed as a result. Because the tissue is more visible, radiologists may frequently detect issues that would have gone undetected on a 2D mammogram.

One of the downsides of 2D mammography is how it compresses breast tissue and overlays x-ray images on top of each other. The compression and overlaying of the breast tissue can mask important signals in the tissue that can suggest malignancy.

When using 3D Mammography, the breast tissue is indeed crushed as well. On the other hand, compression does not obscure critical signals because a 3D mammogram allows the radiologist to examine each level of the breast tissue separately and in part.

More importantly, the computer-generated composite ensures that overlapping images will not interfere with the radiologist’s viewing and interpretation of the images.


When compared to a conventional 2D mammogram, 3D mammography is more accurate. As opposed to two-dimensional mammography, three-dimensional mammography has been shown to improve cancer detection rates.

A 3D mammogram also minimizes the likelihood of misinterpreting a noncancerous tissue as cancerous tissue, which could result in a false-positive result.

This increased accuracy prevents unnecessary follow-up imaging — women will not be summoned back to the clinic or hospital for additional targeted imaging that they do not require — and alleviates stress for patients who are misdiagnosed in the first place.

Denser Tissue

A 3D mammography is good for all types of patients, but it is particularly beneficial for some. When it comes to women with dense breast tissue, a 3D mammography may be the best option.

In dense breast tissue, the proportion of glandular structures to fat is often higher than normal breast tissue. When seen through an x-ray scanner, fatty tissue appears dark, whereas glandular tissue appears white.

However, the majority of the malignant tissue is white. The appearance of glandular and malignant forms on a basic 2D mammography can be perplexing, especially early.

A 3D mammography is beneficial in the case of dense, highly glandular breast tissue because it can photograph hidden elements of the dense tissue that a regular 2D mammogram may be unable to detect.

In addition, it allows radiologists to analyze the tissue in layers rather than slices, which makes it simpler to distinguish between glandular and malignant formations.

Diagnostic Utility

If a woman has had a mammogram, she is more likely to have a second type of female diagnosis. When it comes to diagnostic mammograms, they are thorough and take longer to complete, with the technologist obtaining additional x-ray photographs and zooming in on specific areas of interest as needed.

In contrast to a 2D mammogram, a 3D mammogram can be used to diagnose breast cancer. When a 2D mammogram reveals an anomaly, it is typically necessary to do a biopsy to determine whether the tissue contains cancer or is healthy. Alternatively, your healthcare providers may choose to do a 3D mammogram at a 3D mammogram centre.

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