Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.
Three recent advances in mammography include digital mammography, computer-aided detection, and breast tomosynthesis.
From a patient’s point of view, having a digital mammogram is essentially the same as having a conventional film mammogram. However, a digital mammography uses electrical signals to produce images of the breast that can be seen on a computer screen or printed on special film similar to conventional mammograms.
This method allows radiologists to electronically manipulate the digital images, potentially saving patients from undergoing additional views and therefore additional radiation. The ability to manipulate the digital images has been shown to improve the sensitivity of mammography in women with dense breast tissue.