Screening mammography is used to detect breast changes in women who have no signs or symptoms or observable breast abnormalities. The goal is to detect cancer before any clinical signs are noticeable. This usually requires at least two images of the breast from different angles.
Screening Mammography Guidelines
The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health. Women should report any breast change promptly to their health care provider.
Computer-aided detection (CAD) assists radiologists by digitizing and analyzing mammograms for suspicious regions that may be indicative of cancer.
Digital Mammography is FDA approved; this is similar to a standard x-ray except uses a digital receptor and computer instead of film cassettes to record the images.
Digital Diagnostic Mammogram
Diagnostic mammography is used to investigate suspicious breast changes such as a breast lump, localized breast pain, an unusual skin appearance, nipple thickening or nipple discharge. It's also used to evaluate abnormal findings on a screening mammogram. Additional images can be obtained from other angles or focus on areas of concern at higher magnification.
Ultrasound examination, also called diagnostic medical sonography or sonography, is an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce precise images of the breast. These images often provide information that's valuable in diagnosing and treating disease.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic test which creates cross-sectional images of your breast. No ionizing radiation is used.