Digital breast tomosynthesis

Worldwide breast cancer is the most common female cancer; in the West one in eight women eventually develop the disease. However the mortality rate has steadily decreased in recent decades, in large part due to improved screening programmes and earlier detection. The current gold standard screening tool is mammography, but in 2011 the FDA approved the first Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) system, and this or similar systems are now available in a limited number of Western hospitals, generating studies to compare the effectiveness of the two imaging modalities.
Healthcare professionals are cognizant with the limitations of mammography, particularly for imaging dense breasts. X-rays of each breast from different angles can only provide a 2D image of a 3D structure, and normal breast tissue can thus mask a tumour. In addition false positive results augment both patient anxiety and hospital workload. And patients are well aware (even if many male health professionals are not) that the compression necessary for allowing the whole breast to be adequately viewed during mammography is not merely