What are the different types of mammograms?

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Stacy Contreras
Body Imaging Specialist

There are two types of mammograms. In this video, Stacy Contreras, director at Good Samaritan Hospital’s Breast Care Center, describes how each type of mammogram is used to check for breast cancer.

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.

Dr. Kelly J. Powers, MD
Diagnostic Radiologist

Modern mammograms use digital photos; 3D mammograms are the most up-to-date ways to image breast tissue. Learn about the different types of mammograms in this video from Kelly Powers, MD, of Alaska Regional Hospital.

Different types of mammograms including 2D, screening and diagnostic, says Thelma Reeves, Director of Women's Diagnostics at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center. Learn more in this video.

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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.