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What You Need to Know About Digital Mammography

A screening mammogram that produces a digital image is just as effective at finding breast cancer as a traditional mammogram done with X-rays. The traditional mammogram is called analog mammography. No woman should skip her mammogram because a digital mammogram is not available. 

But digital technology offers several potential advantages over the current film method for mammography. Unlike film images, digital images:

  • Can be stored and transferred electronically

  • Are less likely to get lost

  • Can be manipulated to correct for underexposure or overexposure, potentially eliminating the need for another mammogram

  • Allow radiologists to use software to help interpret or read them

  • Have a large dynamic range that allows examination of all areas of the breast, despite varying densities

Many of the mammography machines in use today are digital units. The process of getting a digital mammogram is just like a regular mammogram. In fact, the only way you may know what type you get is to ask the technologist working with you.

 

Publication Source: Up to Date: Screening for Breast Cancer: Strategies and Recommendations
Online Source: American Cancer Societyhttp://www.cancer.org/treatment/understandingyourdiagnosis/examsandtestdescriptions/imagingradiologytests/imaging-radiology-tests-mammogram <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Online Source: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineeringhttp://www.nibib.nih.gov/science-education/science-topics/mammography <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Online Editor: Sims, Jane
Online Medical Reviewer: Freeborn, Donna, PhD, CNM, FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 12/11/2013
Date Last Modified: 1/27/2014
© 2013 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.