A mammogram is a breast X-ray using a low dose of X-rays
There are two types of mammograms:
The screening mammogram is a simple exam that can detect tumors before they are palpable. This exam is currently recognized as the most effective method to detect breast cancer.
The diagnostic mammogram is prescribed when the results obtained with a screening mammogram are not clear or are interpreted as uncertain. In reality, in about 10% of women who undergo a screening mammogram, the results are interpreted as uncertain. In these cases, we use additional exams to determine the exact diagnosis. In the vast majority of cases, there is no breast cancer.
Screening mammogram is for all women over 50 years of age. If there is a family history of breast cancer, screening can begin earlier.