2D mammograms make images of the front and side of the breast. The breast is compressed between two plates, which may create images with overlapping tissue making it more difficult to find cancer.
The best way to discover signs of cancer at the earliest possible, and most treatable stage, is with 3D mammography. 3D mammography uses advanced computer imaging to convert digital images of the breast into a stack of very thin layers (or "slices") building a three-dimensional reconstruction of the breast that is much clearer.
Breastcancer.org explains the difference with this simple analogy: Mammograms take only one picture, across the entire breast, in two directions: top to bottom and side to side. It's like standing on the edge of a forest, looking for a bird somewhere inside. To find the bird, it would be better to take 10 steps at a time through the forest and look all around you with each move.
At Montclair Breast Center we offer 3D Mammograms, also called Breast Tomosynthesis, with same-day results.