There are two types of mammograms, a procedure that checks for abnormalities like lumps and masses in the breast: screening and diagnostic. In the former, each breast is X-rayed in two different positions: from top to bottom and from side to side. Questionable abnormalities sometimes require additional evaluation -- diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound, and/or needle biopsy. A diagnostic mammogram focuses on an area of breast tissue that appeared abnormal in a screening mammogram. Mammograms are 85% to 95% accurate and will be falsely negative in up to 15% of patients. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about mammograms, when they are needed, what they show, and much more.
Medical experts say there are several reasons why a mammogram may fail to detect a cancerous tumor.
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