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Women's Health

What are the different types of mammograms?

A Answers (2)

  • AAurora Health Care answered
    There are two types of mammogram tests for the breast: film mammography and digital mammography.

    Film mammography has been used for more than 35 years. The breast image is placed on x-ray film. This test is very reliable. The films are processed and read by the radiologist (doctor who reads x-rays). While film mammography is very good, women who have thick breast tissue may need digital mammography testing.

    Digital mammography takes an electronic picture of the breast and stores it in a computer. This test does not use film. The pictures are sent to the radiologist electronically. The radiologist can magnify areas of the breast that need to be looked at further. The actual exam is done in the same way the film mammogram is done. Digital mammography is better for screening women who are premenopausal, under age 55, or who have thick breast tissue.
  • You may have heard of several different "types" of mammograms (an x-ray image of the breast), such as baseline, screening, and diagnostic. The differences are simple. Your baseline mammogram is simply your initial or first mammogram. Baseline images are used for comparison to later studies. Changes in your breast are often subtle, and radiologists often compare a new image to a previous image while evaluating a suspected change. Screening mammograms are routine mammography examinations in which the patient has no symptoms. Diagnostic mammograms are studies in which the patient does have a symptom, such as a lump, tenderness, or thickening of the tissue.
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