The latest X-ray technique is saving lives, according to one study. A 3-D mammogram is helping people defend themselves against breast cancer.
Linda Greer, medical director for John C. Lincoln Breast Health and Research Center, explains how a 3-D image revealed specks of cancer.
"This area easily seen with Tomosynthesis. And on her 2-D mammogram, there's nothing, you can't tell that's there," says Greer.
"We found so many very tiny cancers you can't see on a 2-D mammogram."
These pictures are the result of Oslo Tomosynthesis, a 3-D mammogram screening. It's done like a regular mammogram, but it captures a more detailed image of the breast.
"Going through one millimeter at a time, we can see the outlines of those masses now."
Greer says Tomosynthesis -- or Tomo -- allows doctors to spot cancer much earlier, which helps better a patient's chances of beating cancer.
With some 2-D images, cancer isn't picked up until the tumor is bigger and harder to fight.
"Gain ground for less treatment, less surgery, no chemo hopefully. Early detection is the key."
A new study says 3-D mammogram screenings detect early cancer signs 40 percent more than 2-D images. The John C. Lincoln Breast and Health Research Center was the second in the country to use this technology.
Doctors recommend women get a baseline between the ages of 35 and 40. Women should get a mammogram annually after the age of 40. Most breast cancer patients do not have family cancer history.