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

Breast cancer is among the most commonly diagnosed cancers in women. After years of research on the best way to reduce the ever-increasing breast cancer cases, early breast screening was recommended.

The recommendations also lead to the innovation of the best way to screen the breast mammography test.  Frequent mammograms test after the age of 40 — or sooner if specific genetic disorders or health changes raise concerns — are critical for women’s health.

It is considerably easier to treat breast cancer if a woman’s care team can find it early. You’ll have a better chance of surviving and living for many more years.

When you visit the breast doctor specialist for breast screening, you will be recommended to undergo a 2D or 3D mammogram. Each one captures a specific image that radiologists can use to spot issues early.

This blog post compares 3D mammography to 2Dmammography to help you decide which method is best for you and what is the cost of mammogram.

What Are 2D Mammograms?

A 2D mammogram also referred to as traditional mammography, is taken from front and side views by low dose x-ray breast photographs. The pictures combine to form a unique picture for each breast, although sometimes the pictures reveal a small breast overlap.

How does a 2D mammogram work?

Before imaging, a doctor positions one of the patient’s breasts on a dedicated platform in the 2D mammography machine. The breast is then gently pressed down on by a translucent plastic plate.

While taking 2D x-ray images, the plates continue to apply pressure. The technologist then repeats the process for the other breast, capturing both front and side images.

What Are 3D Mammograms?

3D mammography involves taking a continuous arc of several x-ray pictures from various angles around the breast.

The photographs are then compiled into detailed 3D images of each breast using a computer imaging tool. Every layer of the breast tissue is shown in 3D photos, one tiny slice at a time.

Radiologists can examine the various layers for microscopic alterations that may suggest the presence of malignancy.

Difference between 2D and 3D Mammograms

Several features distinguish between 2D and 3D. The two types of mammograms differ in terms of images details, diagnostic applications, practicality, clarity and insurance coverage. Below is the elaboration of these features. 

Image Clarity

The radiologist can see the breast tissue and its makeup more clearly with a 3D mammography test. It puts finer details into sharper focus and reveals small structures. Because the tissue is more apparent, radiologists can often find problems that a 2D mammography missed.

One of the 2D mammography’s drawbacks is the way it compresses breast tissue and overlays x-ray images. Because of the compression and overlapping, crucial signals in the breast tissue that can indicate cancer can sometimes be obscured.

3D Mammography is true that the breast tissue is also compressed. However, compression doesn’t hide vital signals since a 3D mammography allows the radiologist to look separately, in part, at each level of the breast tissue.

More so, the computer-generated composite also assures that the radiologist’s reading and interpretation cannot be interfered with by overlapping images.


A 3D mammography is more accurate than a 2D mammogram. Studies have demonstrated that 3D mammography has a higher cancer detection rate than 2D mammography.

A 3D mammography also reduces the chances of misinterpreting a noncancerous tissue as cancerous, leading to a false positive. This improved accuracy avoids unneeded follow-up imaging — women won’t be summoned back to the clinic or hospital for more targeted imaging that they don’t require — and relieves stress for misdiagnosed patients.

Advantages for Denser Tissue

A 3D mammogram is beneficial for all sorts of patients, but it is especially beneficial for some. 3D mammogram may be preferable for those with denser breast tissue.

The proportion of glandular structures to fat in dense breast tissue is usually higher. Fatty tissue appears dark on an x-ray scan, while glandular tissue appears white.

But mainly, the malignant tissue appears white. The appearance of glandular and malignant formations on a basic 2D mammogram is often confusing.

A 3D mammogram is good for dense, highly glandular breast tissue because it can image hidden aspects of the dense tissue that a standard 2D mammogram could miss.

It allows radiologists to examine tissue layer by layer, making it easier to discern between glandular and malignant formations.

Diagnostic Utility

 Mammography is usually the second type of female diagnosis if there was an initial mammogram.

Diagnostic mammograms are comprehensive and last longer, with the technologist taking additional x-ray photos and zooming into special fields of interest if necessary.

A 3D mammography can be a diagnostic tool, as opposed to a 2D mammogram. When a 2D mammography indicates an abnormality, it often takes a biopsy to check for cancer or goodness in the tissue. Alternatively, a 3D mammography can be applied by your healthcare providers.

Insurance Coverage

2D and 3D mammograms can differ in insurance coverage. The majority of the health insurance schemes are 2D standard; however, not all schemes are 3D standard.

Before booking a 3D mammogram screening singapore, consult our insurance company to ensure that your plan is covered.

Benefits of 3D mammograms over 2D mammograms

A 3D mammogram breast screening gives the breast tissue a clearer, more complete image. In addition, doctors may now identify cancer more precisely and quickly with the arrival of 3D mammography.end

An image is also clearer with a 3D mammography. Physicians now have multiple viewpoints to evaluate breast tissues. And it will assist them in detecting masses better.

As previously stated, 3D mammograms provide much-improved image clarity, which reduces the likelihood of false alarms. That also means that the number of ‘call backs’ has decreased.

A 3D mammography also provides the clearest views of breast density. As per research and studies, women with thick breasts have a higher risk of acquiring breast cancer. As a result, 3D mammograms are more precise than typical 2D mammograms.