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.
Breast Cancer and Mammogram Results
Here's how mammograms are used to detect breast cancer and other breast abnormalities.
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.
Using Mammograms to Detect Breast Cancer
WebMD explains how mammograms are performed and why they're important in detecting breast cancer.
Menopause and Mammograms
WebMD looks at the importance of mammogram screening for breast cancer during and after menopause.
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.
Looking for High-Quality Mammography
Women seeking mammograms can find the highest quality screenings from radiologists and doctors who have years of experience performing and reading mammograms on a daily basis.
Why a Mammogram May Miss a Tumor
Medical experts say there are several reasons why a mammogram may fail to detect a cancerous tumor.
Computer-Assisted Second Readings
Considered by some to be the stealth technology of women's health care, the computer-aided second reading is now regarded as a reliable way for doctors to look for breast abnormalities that the naked eye may have missed.
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? Learn which medical tests and screenings you should have and how often you should have them.
A Visual Guide to Breast Cancer
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.