DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
CLICK TO ENLARGE
|Receiving a mammogram|
A mammogram is an X-ray image of your breast used to screen for breast cancer. Mammograms play a key role in early breast cancer detection and help decrease breast cancer deaths.
During a mammogram, your breasts are compressed between two firm surfaces to spread out the breast tissue. Then an X-ray captures black-and-white images of your breasts that are displayed on a computer screen and examined by a doctor who looks for signs of cancer.
A mammogram can be used either for screening or for diagnostic purposes. How often you should have a mammogram depends on your age and your risk of breast cancer.
- Breast cancer screening (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/screening/breast. Accessed July 8, 2013.
- Mammography. RadiologyInfo.org. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=mammo. Accessed July 8, 2013.
- Adam A, et al. Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-10163-2..X5001-5--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-10163-2&uniqId=259733166-219. Accessed July 8, 2013.
- Smith RA, et al. Cancer screening in the United States, 2013: A review of current American Cancer Society guidelines, current issues in cancer screening, and new guidance on cervical cancer screening and lung cancer screening. CA Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2013;63:87.
- Screening for breast cancer. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsbrca.htm. Accessed July 8, 2013.
- Consumer information (MQSA). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/MammographyQualityStandardsActandProgram/ConsumerInformation/default.htm. Accessed July 8, 2013.
- Pruthi S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 10, 2013.
- Yau EJ, et al. The utility of breast MRI as a problem-solving tool. The Breast Journal. 2011;17:273.
- Kerlikowske K, et al. Comparative effectiveness of digital versus film-screen mammography in community practice in the United States. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2011;155:493.