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Your Body: 3-D breast scanning

Wavebreak Media/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Three-dimensional mammography may outperform standard mammograms when it comes to detecting cancer and false positives, according to a recent study published in the journal Radiology.

An updated form of tomosynthesis, which is a fancy word for digital mammography, combines multiple images to create a 3-D picture of breast tissue. This method also delivers less radiation per scan than traditional mammograms.

So here’s my take on 3-D mammography: As a screening test for breast cancer, mammograms are the best we have at this time, but they’re not perfect. They see things that turn out not to be cancer and it can miss tumors that are malignant. A big part of any imaging test is the interpretation of that test, which is done by skilled radiologisits.

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