What To Think About
- Most abnormalities found during a mammogram are
breast cancer. But many women who have regular
screening mammograms need more tests to investigate any abnormalities
found during a mammogram. If an area of your breast tissue appears to be a
concern during a mammogram, other tests such as an ultrasound may be done.
- Mammogram results are harder to
interpret in women before
menopause because breast tissue in younger women is
denser than in older women. Mammograms may be less accurate in
- A digital
mammogram allows your doctor to view different parts of the breast
without taking more images. Digital mammograms have the same overall
accuracy as standard mammograms. The procedure in which a digital mammogram is done is the
same as a standard mammogram—each procedure takes about the same amount of
time, and breast compression is needed for both. Images from a digital mammogram
can be magnified and stored electronically.
- A digital mammogram may be done along with digital breast tomosynthesis to make a three-dimensional picture of the breast.
- If you come from a family where women have had breast cancer
earlier than age 40, talk to your doctor about what age to start screening. If
you have a very strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, you may want
to have a breast cancer (BRCA) gene test. For more information, see the topic Breast Cancer (BRCA) Gene Test.
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
November 1, 2012
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