A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that is done to screen for breast cancer and to investigate lumps that can be felt during a breast exam. A mammogram can also detect tumors or abnormal areas that are too small to be felt with the hands.

A digital mammogram is done in the same way as a standard mammogram. The images from a digital mammogram are stored as a computer file, while the images from a standard mammogram are stored on film. A digital mammogram allows your doctor to view different parts of the breast without taking more images. Or a digital mammogram may be done along with digital breast tomosynthesis to make a three-dimensional picture of the breast.

Digital and standard mammograms both work well to find breast cancer. But digital mammograms may work a little better for women who are age 60 or younger.

Current as of: November 14, 2014

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology