Mammograms are low-dose x-rays that expose the breasts to a small amount of radiation.* Mammograms have been used to screen for breast cancer since the 1980s. There are three different types of mammograms:
- Film: 2-Dimensional, known as “analog” has been nearly eliminated in the U.S.A., but is still in use in Europe.
- Digital, 2-Dimensional: known as “Full Field Digital Mammogram” (FFDM). Nearly all facilities in the United States have digital mammography.
- Digital, 3D/tomosynthesis: also referred to as “3-Dimensional” or “tomo.” It is a newer technology that is used in over half of the facilities in the United States.
*The radiation exposure from a mammogram is small and is too low to cause any harm to the breasts.
To learn more about mammograms, including how they work, benefits and things to consider, click here.
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- Video Series: Let’s Talk About Dense Breasts
- Patient Risk Checklist (print)
- Patient Questions and Answers