What is digital mammography?
Digital mammography is a type of mammogram that takes a digital image of the breast, storing it electronically on a computer. The digital image can then be magnified, enhanced, or otherwise manipulated to aid the evaluation. The image may also be printed on special film to produce an image similar to a regular mammogram.
What’s the difference between taking a normal mammogram and a digital mammogram?
For you, the process of having a normal mammogram or a digital mammogram will be the same. The images will be taken in the same way whether the mammogram is taken digitally or x-rayed with film.
Is there any benefit to having a digital mammogram over a film mammogram?
Digital mammography is still relatively new, but initial results from a clinical trial of digital vs. film mammography suggest that a digital mammogram may be superior for some women. The study shows that if you are under 50, have dense breast tissue, or are still menstruating, your results from a digital mammogram could be significantly better than with a traditional film mammogram.
Can I get a digital mammogram performed anywhere film mammograms are performed?
No. Facilities must be certified before they can legally perform digital mammograms.
How can I find a certified digital mammography facility?
Unfortunately, there is currently no direct way to find out which facilities have digital mammography units. You may wish to ask your current medical facility if they have digital mammography equipment. You should consult your doctor to determine if a digital mammogram is right for you.
Sources: RadiologyInfo.org, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Cancer Institute