Diagnostic mammogram


A diagnostic mammogram is an effective means of determining whether a person has been infected with breast cancer. In order to be able to take on breast cancer and ensure survivability of the person, there is a serious need to detect the cancer as soon as possible. There are numerous steps which are in place by the individuals so as to catch the very first signs of the ailment. Ranging from at home self-examination to dedicated diagnostic mammogram, there are many ways to watch out for the occurring of breast cancer as such.


The need for a diagnostic mammogram

Breast cancer is a life-threatening ailment in case left unattended. There are numerous cases wherein the person has been detected with breast cancer in the terminal phases and as a result, survivability has been an issue. In order to be able to effectively handle breast cancer, regular diagnostic mammograms are essential. Once a person has been detected by means of a diagnostic mammogram, the further treatment can be tailored as per the case specifics.

The process

In a diagnostic mammogram, the breasts are mapped by X rays and the reports are than studied to check out for any signs of breast cancer. The dose of the X rays used for the mapping is such that these are not likely to cause any serious side effects. The process involves pressing the breast between two plates and thereafter exposing them to controlled dose of rays. Professionals thereafter study the mapped images in detail.

What to expect?

The process of the mammogram involves the patient getting undressed waist up and thereafter going in for the procedure as such. There is likely to be some amount of discomfort during the short duration of the process. It is advisable to wear a two-piece dress given the need to undress waist up. Further, in order to ensure that there is no interference to the x rays, the person is advised to not use any powder, deodorant or cream in the area around the breasts. It is wise to plan the diagnostic mammogram far from the menstrual cycle dates when the breasts are not over sensitive. Also, it is a good idea to administer a pain killer pill before the exam to wear off any lingering effects of the examination.


Once the process of the mammogram has been completed, the doctor shall study the reports and thereafter decide as to whether there is a need for further detailed tests. Usually, a yearly diagnostic mammogram is what is recommended and followed by the doctors all over the world. In special cases, the frequency may be altered so as to ensure that the person is kept safe from the ailment of breast cancer. With the latest techniques and the advanced machinery being used for the purpose of cancer quest, the need to go in for planned regular diagnostic mammogram is one which must be honored by all women of the world.

What you need to know about diagnostic mammogram

Diagnostic mammogram can be defined as the examination of the breasts to diagnose the symptoms of the breast cancer.

When to opt for diagnostic mammogram

Today, the incidence of the breast cancer in the women is increasing all over the world. This is especially true for the women who are over 30 years of age. As per the various studies which are conducted, the risk of breast cancer starts when a woman is over 30 years of age and the risk become greater as the age increases. With the fact being, the earlier the detection of the breast cancer, the better chances of the effective cure, the specialists have devised certain measures, a woman must take, when she is over 30 years of age. She should check her breasts every month for following symptoms –

Diagnostic mammogram

  1. Lumps in under arms or in the breasts
  2. Changes in the skin colors
  3. Thickening of the skin
  4. Erosion of the nipples
  5. Itching or retraction of the nipples
  6. Involuntary discharge of the nipple

Apart from that, if your health physician discovers any of the above or the unusual symptoms during the health-checkup, he may prescribe the diagnostic mammogram for further check-up.

Defining diagnostic mammogram

Diagnostic mammogram can be simply defined as the x-ray examination of the breasts to check the above symptoms and detect whether the symptoms which denote benign changes or it indicate the presence of the breast cancer. It also determines the direction of the further tests and the treatment which is required. The diagnostic mammogram is also prescribed for the women who have undergone radiation therapy after the lumpectomy for first seven years.

The Procedure of diagnostic mammogram

The procedure of diagnostic mammogram is well-defined. It starts with taking of the standard x-ray full size breast image with craniocaudal or with CC. After that, they take the full-image capturing side-to-side breast image under mediolateral oblique or MLO. To understand the condition of the breasts, both methods are essential.

With the magnification technique combined with the small quantity of the compressions calcification details, exact appearance and the morphology details are obtained. For the diagnostic purpose, it is very useful for finding out the exact picture of calcification.

Diagnosing the breast cancer after the diagnostic mammogram

Apart from taking the above images, the breast imaging radiologist makes the decision about taking of the other images and conducting the study. The decision depends upon the result of the early diagnostic mammograms. After that, the radiologist require to do further studies like –

1. Cyst aspiration

2. Physical examination of the body

3. Ultrasound of the breast

4. Ductography (for the patients who suffer from spontaneous nipple discharge)

After analyzing the above the radiologist does his study and reports the same. Then he meets the patient and presents his findings, options, recommendations in written form to the client. He also helps them to clear the doubts.

The diagnostic mammogram helps to determine the absence or presence of the breast cancer in women.