Is 3D Mammography Right for You?


Mammograms take images of breast tissue to determine the presence of abnormalities, and many physicians are now choosing 3D technology because it can provide clearer pictures. Also called digital tomosynthesis, a 3D mammogram takes several X-rays of the breasts and combines the images to establish a three-dimensional picture. 

Dr. Jason Pericak of Great Lakes Medical Imaging (GLMI) says, “A 3D mammogram helps find breast cancer in people without any outward signs or symptoms, and helps diagnose the cause of a breast mass or nipple discharge. 3D imaging allows us to obtain a better look at any growth, and help identify the source of any symptoms a person may be experiencing.

Having a 3D mammogram is much the same as traditional 2D mammography, and releases the same amount of radiation. However, rather than just taking images from the sides, and top to bottom, 3D mammography takes images at multiple angles to make a digital recreation of the breast. “This enables doctors to look at small, individual sections of breast tissue that may be as thin as one millimeter,” explains Dr. Pericak.

A recent study published in JAMA Oncology found that 3D imagery increased cancer detection, which is especially helpful for women with dense breast tissue or those at higher risk for breast cancer. Since 3D mammograms produce more images, it may take a radiologist a little longer to read than a 2D mammogram. The cost of 3D mammography is now covered by most insurances, making it a preferred option.

GLMI has five convenient locations with 3D mammography offered in Williamsville and Orchard Park and is the preferred imaging provider of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. Learn more at or call 716-836-4646.