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.
Digital Mammograms: A Clearer Picture
WebMD explains the pros and cons of digital and film mammograms -- how they are different, and who benefits from each one.
Menopause and Mammograms
WebMD looks at the importance of mammogram screening for breast cancer during and after menopause.
Using Mammograms to Detect Breast Cancer
WebMD explains how mammograms are performed and why they're important in detecting breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Screening and Detection
Learn more from WebMD about mammograms, breast self-exams, and other breast cancer screening and detection tools, including when they should be performed.
The Risks of Routine Cancer Screening
As cancer screening becomes more common, more apparently healthy people are told they may have early-stage cancer. Harm comes from overtreatment and false-positive results. Are lives really saved? WebMD investigates.
Mammogram Fears? What to Expect, How It's Done, and More
Afraid of an abnormal mammogram? Think you're not at risk for breast cancer? WebMD explains why mammogram benefits outweigh these and other excuses.
Why a Mammogram May Miss a Tumor
Medical experts say there are several reasons why a mammogram may fail to detect a cancerous tumor.
Before you get a mammogram: The latest news in breast cancer screening
The latest recommendations and options in breast cancer screening and diagnosis
Video: What They Don’t Tell You About Mammograms
A mammogram scans your breast tissue for any signs of cancer. But does it hurt? Women share stories from their first screenings.
Mammogram: Preparing For Your Breast Exam
Oct 17th is National Mammogram Day. Make your appointment and use our tips to make the procedure less scary and painful.
Mammograms - How Often?
Laura Corio, MD, explains how often a woman should have a mammogram.
Slideshows & Images
Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Breast Cancer Symptoms, Lumps, Tests, and Treatments
This overview covers the breast cancer experience, including symptoms, tests, treatments, recovery, and prevention. Pictures show breast structure and tumors.
Slideshow: Essential Screening Tests for Women
WebMD guides women through health screenings their doctor may recommend based on their age and risk factors. Screening tests may help find diseases or conditions like cancer or diabetes early, when they are easier to treat.