DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
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|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 in order to spread out the breast tissue. Then an X-ray captures black-and-white images of your breasts that a doctor uses to detect changes and 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.
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