Hello Tomo - a clinical trial of 3D mammography

BreastScreen SA has been the state’s leading provider of screening mammography for more than 25 years, and is excited to have recently completed a clinical trial of tomosynthesis – three-dimensional (3D) mammography – within the program’s Assessment Clinic.

Tomosynthesis is performed on a modified mammography machine and uses a series of low-dose X-ray images of the breast to digitally construct a 3D image.

The BreastScreen SA Assessment Clinic has the equipment for both tomosynthesis and conventional two-dimensional (2D) X-ray imaging. The usual assessment process involves special 2D mammography images taken of the woman’s breast, centring on the area of concern. In addition to this, clients participating in the trial also underwent tomosynthesis imaging, which shows more detail of the breast tissue.

The results of the trial found that tomosynthesis integrated well with the assessment process and was highly acceptable by the participating clients. As a result, this mode of imaging has now been incorporated for the assessment of screen-detected lesions, at the discretion of the clinic’s radiologist.

For more information on the trial and its results, please see the February 2016 edition of BreastScreen SA’s newsletter for GPs, Keeping Abreast.


BreastScreen SA provides more than 90,000 screening mammograms (breast X-rays) each year to South Australian women primarily aged 50 to 74, with the aim of finding breast cancer at an early stage, often before it can be felt.

Assessment Services are provided for those women who have a screen-detected abnormality. This service is also free-of-charge.

Keeping Abreast is the six-monthly clinical newsletter for General Practitioners. It is accessible from the ‘For Health Professionals’ tab of the BreastScreen SA website.

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