What is the difference between a diagnostic mammogram and a screening mammogram?
A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. While screening mammograms are routinely administered to detect breast cancer in women who have no apparent symptoms, diagnostic mammograms are used after suspicious results on a screening mammogram or after some signs of breast cancer alert the physician to check the tissue.
Such signs may include:
Thickening of skin on the breast
Changes in the size or shape of the breast
A diagnostic mammogram can help determine if these symptoms are indicative of the presence of cancer.
As compared to screening mammograms, diagnostic mammograms provide a more detailed x-ray of the breast using specialized techniques. They are also used in special circumstances, such as for patients with breast implants.