A mammogram is a safe, low-dose X-ray of the breast. Routine, annual mammograms are the best screening tool available for breast cancer because they can detect changes in the breast long before any symptoms appear or any lumps can be felt. When tumors are found early, more treatment options are available. In addition, small cancers are the most curable.
Two kinds of mammograms are available. A basic screening is performed when no symptoms are present to detect the presence of any abnormalities. A diagnostic mammogram, which provides additional images, is conducted to detect and diagnose breast disease in women who are experiencing symptoms.
At the Margaret W. Niedland Breast Center, all mammograms - screening and diagnostic - are performed digitally. Digital mammograms require less radiation, are more sensitive and provide greater information. This revolutionary diagnostic technology produces images through computerization rather than X-ray film.
Digital mammography allows the physician to magnify or manipulate the image on a computer screen to improve visualization of structures in breast tissue. This technology is especially useful for women with dense breasts, breast implants or a past history of breast cancer.
A galactogram is a special type of mammogram which is done after the X-ray dye has been injected into a breast duct through the nipple. It is done to see if there is an abnormality within the duct that may be causing discharge. This procedure is also done to identify a duct with an abnormality prior to removal of it by your surgeon.