How is digital mammography different from a mammogram?

Technology is advancing the use of mammograms for breast cancer screening. In this video, Karla Lewis, RT, of Coliseum Medical Centers, explains why low-dose digital mammograms are an improvement.
Michael Paciorek, MD
Diagnostic Radiology
Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT, or 3D mammography) provides more information than a traditional mammogram. In this video, Michael Paciorek, MD, of Mercy Health, explains the differences between traditional and digital mammography.

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Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Traditional screen film mammography works by compressing a woman’s breast against two plates and taking an x-ray snapshot of the breast from above on a film placed below. This is like taking a picture with a 35 mm camera.

Digital mammography, however, is like taking a snapshot with a digital camera. Instead of using an x-ray film, solid-state detectors convert the x-rays into electrical signals that enable the physician to see the breast in high resolution on a computer screen. The quality is better than screen film mammography because the details stand out—especially for women who have dense breast tissue. Because the image is saved on a computer, it makes it easier to look for changes in the breast by comparing current images with past images.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.