Watch Dr. Marisa Weiss's special message about the importance of annual mammograms. Dr. Weiss and Geralyn Lucas — author, breast cancer survivor, and producer of Take the "I Am" Pledge — are encouraging women to seek the full benefit of early detection.
Mammograms are probably the most important tool doctors have not only to screen for breast cancer, but also to diagnose, evaluate, and follow people who’ve had breast cancer. Safe and reasonably accurate, a mammogram is an x-ray photograph of the breast. The technique has been in use for about 40 years.
Screening mammograms are typically done every year to check the breasts for any early signs of breast cancer. Diagnostic mammograms are different from screening mammograms in that they focus on getting more information about a specific area (or areas) of concern — usually due to a suspicious screening mammogram or a suspicious lump. Diagnostic mammograms take more pictures than screening mammograms do. A mammography technician and a radiologist would coordinate to get the images your doctor needs to address that concern. The technician may need to magnify a suspicious area to produce a more detailed picture that will help your doctor make the diagnosis.
In this section, you can read more about mammograms, including the following topics:
- Mammography: Benefits, Risks, What You Need to Know
- Mammography Technique and Types
- Where to Get a Mammogram
- What Mammograms Show
- How Doctors Interpret Mammograms
- Mammogram Results
- Mammograms after Different Types of Breast Surgery
- Take the "I Am" Pledge
Breastcancer.org's mission is to help women and their loved ones make sense of the complex medical and personal information about breast health and breast cancer, so they can make the best decisions for their lives. Medical information on the Breastcancer.org web site and in our printed materials is reviewed by members of our Professional Advisory Board, which includes over 60 practicing medical professionals from around the world who are leaders in their fields. We are a nonprofit organization supported by individuals, foundations, and corporations. Find more about us here.