Digital Diagnostic Mammography
What is a Digital Diagnostic Mammogram?
A standard mammogram is performed in the same way as a digital mammogram. One major difference between the two types of scans is that with a standard film-based exam, it is hard to differentiate from non-cancerous tumors including benign and subtle calcifications, which were very common on film-scans because of their uniform appearance. This made it difficult for radiologists to correctly detect breast cancer without performing an unnecessary biopsy.
Digital mammograms can make more accurate determinations more quickly and efficiently, leading to fewer unnecessary biopsies.
Diagnostic Mammography After a Screening Mammogram
After a screening mammogram, some patients may require additional imaging. This allows the radiologist to focus on a particular area of the breast. A patient may undergo a diagnostic mammogram and a limited breast ultrasound to better evaluate the area of concern.
A diagnostic mammogram is performed for multiple reasons including:
- Screening callback
- Clinical symptoms
- Short-term follow-up from prior breast imaging
- Annual checkup
If you notice any of these symptoms that persist or worsen for 2-3 weeks, we recommend that you speak with your provider and schedule a mammogram:
- A lump in your breast
- Swelling, soreness or rash
- Warmth, redness or darkening of the skin
- Change in size or shape of your breast
- Dimpling or puckering of skin
- Nipple that becomes flat or inverted
- Nipple discharge
- New, persistent pain in one spot
You may undergo a diagnostic mammogram and a limited ultrasound to better evaluate the area of concern. Rest assured, one of our radiologists will remain on-site to discuss the results with you. This is your opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
What’s the Difference Between a Diagnostic and Screening Mammogram?
Screening mammograms are annual exams that have been proven to lower the risk of developing breast cancer.
A medical professional may order a digital diagnostic mammogram based on any signs and symptoms of breast cancer as they are more detailed than a screening mammogram.
A screening mammogram takes only 10-to-20 minutes, while a diagnostic mammogram can take longer.
Is a Diagnostic Mammogram Better than an Ultrasound?
Although an ultrasound may be useful in situations when you feel a lump in your breast, yet your mammogram is normal. However, ultrasounds do come with limitations such as:
- Inability to take an image of the entire breast at one time.
- Cannot see deep inside the breast.
- Doesn’t show microcalcifications.
A mammogram is better for determining whether an abnormality is deeper inside of breast tissue and can show a more detailed image of the whole breast at one time.
Why Choose Us?
We know how stressful it can be to undergo a mammogram.
After being told that your results are inconclusive and you must return at another time for additional testing, the last thing you want to do is sit around waiting for further testing. That is why we offer all additional testing at your appointment.
We have three convenient locations offering digital diagnostic mammography in Danbury.