A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. While screening mammograms are routinely administered to detect breast cancer in women who have no apparent symptoms, diagnostic mammograms are used after suspicious results on a screening mammogram or after some signs of breast cancer alert the physician to check the tissue. A diagnostic mammogram can help determine if these symptoms are indicative of the presence of cancer.
Screening mammography is a specific type of breast imaging that uses low-dose x-rays to detect cancer early — before women experience symptoms — when it is most treatable. Tell your doctor about any breast symptoms or problems, prior surgeries, hormone use, whether you have a family or personal history of breast cancer, and if there's a possibility you are pregnant. If possible, obtain copies of your prior mammograms and make them available to your radiologist on the day of your exam.
It is well known that women with dense fibroglandular tissue in their breasts have an increased risk of breast cancer, compared to the average. Dense fibroglandular tissue in the breast is made up of milk glands and connective tissue. It will appear as areas of white or light grey in mammography images.
Mammography uses X-rays to create images of the breast. These images are called mammograms. Learn more about mammograms. Learn about getting a mammogram.
A mammogram is a type of X-ray of the breast. Your doctor may order a screening mammogram as a routine check. They can also be a tool for early diagnosis before you start showing symptoms of breast cancer.
Mammograms can be stressful and even a bit scary. But you can prepare yourself with critical information before you get a mammogram. The free resource, Mammogramanswers what you should do before, during, and after your mammogram screening.
During a mammogram, you stand in front of an X-ray machine designed for mammography. A technician places your breast on a platform and positions the platform to match your height. The technician helps you position your head, arms and torso to allow an unobstructed view of your breast.
A mammogram image has a black background and shows the breast in variations of gray and white. Generally speaking, the denser the tissue, the whiter it appears. This may include normal tissue and glands, as well as areas of benign breast changes e. Fat and other less-dense tissue renders gray on a mammogram image.
The value of screening mammograms was questioned in November when the U. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that routine screening mammograms for women with an average risk of breast cancer should start at age 50 instead of age The recommended changes were very controversial and were not universally adopted.