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5/18/08

A VIDEO ABOUT THE MAMMOGRAM DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DIAGNOSTIC AND SCREENING MAMMOGRAM

A VIDEO ABOUT THE MAMMOGRAM DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DIAGNOSTIC AND SCREENING MAMMOGRAM


Mammograms.Do you know the difference between a screening and diagnostic mammogram? For a test that is supposed to clarify things, the whole topic of mammograms and what they are used for is rather opaque.

"Mammography can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them. Cure rates are much higher when the breast cancer can be found at this stage. Current guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommend screening mammography every year for women, beginning at age 40".

  • Read Possible Connection Between Vitamin D Deficit and Breast Cancer?

    Watch a Video Explaining Mammogram How Mammogram works Click the Arrow to Start



    What is a screening mammogram?

    A screening mammogram is an x-ray of the breast used to detect breast changes in women who have no signs or symptoms of breast cancer. It usually involves two x-rays of each breast. Mammograms make it possible to detect tumors that cannot be felt. Mammograms can also find microcalcifications (tiny deposits of calcium in the breast) that sometimes indicate the presence of breast cancer.

    How are screening and diagnostic mammograms different?

    In 2007 the Cancer Society recommended that certain women with possible increased risk of breast cancer get an MRI scan of the breasts. See the video.
    Video about Recommendation for MRI for Breast Cancer Click the Arrow



    A diagnostic mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that is used to check for breast cancer after a lump or other sign or symptom of breast cancer has been found. Signs of breast cancer may include pain, skin thickening, nipple discharge, or a change in breast size or shape. A diagnostic mammogram also may be used to evaluate changes found during a screening mammogram, or to view breast tissue when it is difficult to obtain a screening mammogram because of special circumstances, such as the presence of breast implants. A diagnostic mammogram takes longer than a screening mammogram because it involves more x-rays in order to obtain views of the breast from several angles. The technician may magnify a suspicious area to produce a detailed picture that can help the doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

    When does the National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommend that women have screening mammograms?

  • Women age 40 and older should have mammograms every 1 to 2 years.
  • Women who are at higher than average risk of breast cancer should talk with their health care providers about whether to have mammograms before age 40 and how often to have them. What are the factors that place a woman at increased risk of breast cancer?

    The risk of breast cancer increases gradually as a woman gets older. However, the risk of developing breast cancer is not the same for all women. Research has shown that the following factors increase a woman’s chance of developing this disease:

  • Personal history of breast cancer—Women who have had breast cancer are more likely to develop a second breast cancer.
  • Family history A woman’s chance of developing breast cancer increases if her mother, sister, and/or daughter have a history of breast cancer (especially if they were diagnosed before age 50).
  • Certain breast changes on biopsy A diagnosis of atypical hyperplasia (a noncancerous condition in which cells have abnormal features and are increased in number) or lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) (abnormal cells found in the lobules of the breast) increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Women who have had two or more breast biopsies for other benign conditions also have an increased chance of developing breast cancer. This increased risk is due to the condition that led to the biopsy, and not to the biopsy itself.



  • Genetic alterations (changes)—Specific alterations in certain genes (BRCA1, BRCA2, and others) increase the risk of breast cancer. These alterations are rare; they are estimated to account for no more than 10 percent of all breast cancers.
  • Reproductive and menstrual history. Women who began having periods before age 12 or went through menopause after age 55 are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Women who have their first child after age 30 or who never have a child are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Long-term use of menopausal hormone therapy. Women who use combination estrogen-progestin menopausal hormone therapy for more than 5 years have an increased chance of developing breast cancer.
  • Breast density. Breasts appear dense on a mammogram if they contain many glands and ligaments (called dense tissue), and do not have much fatty tissue. Because breast cancers tend to develop in the dense tissue of the breast (not in the fatty tissue), those older women whose mammograms show more dense tissue are at an increased risk of breast cancer. Abnormalities in dense breasts can be more difficult to detect on a mammogram.
  • Radiation therapy ("x-ray therapy") Women who had radiation therapy to the chest (including the breasts) before age 30 are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer throughout their lives. This includes women treated for Hodgkin lymphoma. Studies show that the younger a woman was when she received her treatment, the higher her risk of developing breast cancer later in life.
  • DES (diethylstilbestrol) The drug DES was given to some pregnant women in the United States between 1940 and 1971. (It is no longer given to pregnant women.) Women who took DES during pregnancy may have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. The possible effects on their daughters are under study.
  • Body weight. Studies have found that the chance of getting breast cancer after menopause is higher in women who are overweight or obese.
  • Physical activity level. Women who are physically inactive throughout life may have an increased risk of breast cancer. Being active may help reduce risk by preventing weight gain and obesity.
  • Alcohol. Studies suggest that the more alcohol a woman drinks, the greater her risk of breast cancer. "The National Cancer Institute (NCI) adds that women who have had breast cancer and those who are at increased risk due to a genetic history of breast cancer should seek expert medical advice about whether they should begin screening before age 40 and about the frequency of screening"