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3D Mammography

Detect early signs of breast cancer

3D Mammogram Principle

A 3D mammogram is an imaging examination that combines multiple X-rays moving in an arc over the breast to create a 3D detailed image of breast tissue for doctors to detect pathological changes or early signs of breast cancer.


Breast cancer screening has been widely adopted in different parts of the world such as U.S. and Taiwan. Through early diagnosis of breast cancer, it reduces the chance of having lymphatic spread of tumour cells and allows early treatment with better prognosis. Also, doctors can examine different benign conditions, such as cysts, hydromas, fibro adenomas and make a differential diagnosis.


Below is the information regarding the uses, safety issues, concerns of undergoing a 3D mammogram examination and its advantages and limitations in comparison with other types of imaging modalities.

More precise than 2D mammogram

Difference between 3D Mammogram and Traditional 2D Mammogram

More precise in diagnosis

Comparing to traditional 2D mammogram which takes picture of the breast from one angle to create a single image of the breast tissue, 3D mammogram is able to capture many pictures of each breast from different angles to create 3D images. Apart from avoiding misdiagnosis due to areas of overlapping breast tissue shown on the 2D mammograms, 3D mammogram also offers better image resolution and enables detection of lesions of as small as 1mm, aiding in more accurate identification and interpretation of pathological changes of the breast tissue.


Better fit for Asian women

Women’s breast is made of mammary gland, lactiferous ducts, fatty tissues and glandular tissue. For Asians, most women show a relatively high amount of glandular tissue and thus typically have denser breasts. Tissue superimposition, which contributes to breast lesions being obscured, occurs to a greater degree in dense breast tissue in the use traditional 2D mammogram. Therefore, with the advanced technology, 3D mammogram enables a better detection of breast cancer among Asian women.


More comfortable and less painful

While much compression is needed for a clear image to be produced by the 2D mammogram, the advanced technology in 3D mammogram is able to minimize breast pain without compromising the effectiveness of the exam by applying just enough amount of weight for no more than 4 seconds to produce more than 10 images.

Women's breast health

3D Mammography

Who should get a 3D mammogram?

If you feel lumps in the breast, you should consult your doctor immediately to see if further investigation is needed. According to the recommendations from the American Cancer Society, the following groups of women should get screened regularly, even without experiencing any symptoms:

  • All women aged between 40 and 44 should start regular check-up every year
  • All women aged between 45 to 54 should get a 3D mammogram once a year
  • All women aged 55 or older should get a 3D mammogram either once a year or once every two years

    All women who have a family history of breast cancer or previously had breast cancer should discuss with doctors to see if early regular check-up is needed.

3D Mammogram Safety

As a diagnostic rather than treatment modality, a 3D mammogram examination does not bring any side effects to the patients in general. Below are some proper precautions taken prior to the examination to avoid any accident:


  • As radiation exposure is unavoidable in a 3D mammogram examination, patients who are pregnant, may have a chance of pregnancy or breastfeeding should inform us of it before undergoing an examination.
  • While false positive result from screening often brings anxiety and worries, 3D mammogram has significantly improved the cancer detection rate and produced a lower rate of false positive with an enhanced accuracy of 40% to 51% compared to 2D mammogram.
  • The chance of missing lesions of extremely small in size or microcalcification due to its surrounding normal architecture is possible but also extremely rare.

Patient safety tips prior to the examination


Normal food and water intake is usually allowed but patients are advised not to take any caffeinated products such as coffee, coke and chocolate, which may enhance the pain sensation.


Patients should inform us of any chance of pregnancy due to the exposure to ionizing radiation. Also, breast tenderness and pain are common before or during menstruation, so patients are advised to do the examination 1 to 2 weeks after menstruation.


Patients will be asked to change into a gown before the procedure and are reminded to remove all unnecessary objects such as jewelry (earrings, rings, body piercings), personal valuables, electron devices.


Patients should avoid using deodorants, antiperspirants, powders, lotions, creams or perfumes under arms or on breasts as these metallic particles inside the skin products can interfere with the imaging.

Should there be any issues, radiographers are there to provide as much assistance as possible.

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