A mammogram is a low dose x-ray examination of the breasts whose primary role is to screen for breast cancer. Mammography has been proven to decrease deaths from breast cancer and mitigate suffering from breast cancer and breast cancer treatments. Screening mammography finds the majority of cancers before they are felt by the patient or provider. Screening mammography is able to depict breast cancer at an earlier stage – often before it has spread outside the breast. 

Mammography is also used in the diagnostic setting to further characterize an abnormality found during screening or to evaluate a patient or provider’s concern about a physical examination sign or symptom. Breast ultrasound, MRI and image guided minimally invasive core biopsies are frequently performed to diagnose breast abnormalities.  
Screening mammography is a standardized program with federal law (The Mammography Quality Standards Act) governing the equipment, procedures and personnel.  Outcome auditing is performed regularly to assess program quality.


How images are obtained

Factors affecting appearance

What to look for

New technology