(CNN/Gray News) – More women in the United States are getting 3D mammograms, but there’s no proof yet that they’re the best screening tool for cancer.
The gold standard for breast cancer screening has been 2D technology, which scans the front and sides of the breast tissue.
But since the introduction of the more advanced, 3D mammogram, it’s taken off.
The number of 3D mammograms more than tripled – 13 percent to 43 percent – between 2015 and 2017, according to research published this week in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
The popularity of 3D technology varies by region and income levels.
It’s being used more in the Northeast and the Northwest. The Southeast lags behind the rest of the nation.
People in more affluent areas also have been quicker to use the technology.
In regions with high use of 3D mammography, residents were more likely to be wealthy, educated and white.
The exact benefits of 3D over the standard 2D images have yet to be proven.
At this point, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t recommend 3D mammograms by themselves. It’s always used alongside standard 2D technology.