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.
Breast Cancer Detection
How would you know if you had breast cancer? Learn more from WebMD about breast cancer detection.
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.
Before you get a mammogram: The latest news in breast cancer screening
The latest recommendations and options in breast cancer screening and diagnosis
Time for a Mammogram?
When to get a mammogram depends on some key things, from your age to your risk factors.
Why a Mammogram May Miss a Tumor
Medical experts say there are several reasons why a mammogram may fail to detect a cancerous tumor.
Missing the Diagnosis
When a mammogram fails, does a woman have the right to sue?
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: Checkups and Tests You Shouldn't Miss
When's the last time you had your cholesterol, blood pressure, or weight checked? WebMD shows you which medical tests and screenings you should have and how often you should have them.
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.
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.