3-D mammograms increase early detection of breast cancer by 29 percent

(ABC NEWS) - Researchers have found that 3-D imaging can detect cancer better than a traditional mammogram.

Here's how it works - the 3-D mammograms take multiple, rapid-fire pictures, which allow doctors to focus on individual cross-sections, kind of like turning the pages of a book.

A study involved nearly half a million breast scans. More than one-third used the new 3-D imaging along with traditional scans.

Researchers were able to identify some tumors that previously could have been missed in the 3-D scans.

They found that 3-D mammograms increased early detection by 29 percent, and significantly cut down on the number of false positives.

"A lot of these women did not have to come back for additional imaging," said De. Alice Rim of the Cleveland Clinic.

The 3-D imaging machines do give off more radiation than a traditional exam, though, and they are more expensive, which means for now, they are still rare.