3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis)

We are able to offer this leading-edge technology to our patients at the Brudnick Breast Health Center on the Salem campus, at the Breast Imaging Center on the Union campus, and at two locations in Danvers.

Overlapping tissue on a standard 2D mammogram (left) can hide abnormalities that are more clearly seen with breast tomosynthesis, 3D mammography, on the right.

What is Breast Tomosynthesis?

Breast tomosynthesis, also called 3D mammography, was pioneered by our care partners at Massachusetts General Hospital. It provides a clearer, more accurate view of the breast and allows doctors to more effectively pinpoint the size, shape and location of any abnormalities. This can lead to better detection, fewer call backs and greater peace of mind.


Watch video about an NSMC patient's early detection of breast cancer through 3D tomosynthesis.

A New Dimension in Breast Cancer Detection

Conventional 2D mammography produces a single, flattened image of the breast, making it difficult for doctors to detect small cancers. Breast tomosynthesis minimizes the impact of overlapping breast tissue during imaging because the camera moves over the breast taking images from multiple angles. These images are combined to create a three dimensional rendering of the entire breast.

With tomosynthesis, our breast radiologists can manipulate the images to see areas of concern from all angles. The benefits of 3D mammography include:

  • Earlier detection of small breast cancers that may be hidden during 2D mammography
  • Greater accuracy in pinpointing size, shape and location of abnormalities
  • Fewer unnecessary biopsies or additional tests
  • Greater likelihood of detecting multiple breast tumors, which occur in 15% of breast cancer patients