American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes


A screening mammogram is an X ray of the breast. The breast tissue is squeezed close to the X-ray machine. You will feel a few seconds of discomfort. Do not wear deodorant, perfume, lotion, or any other cosmetic product the day of the mammogram. These products can distort the mammogram. Screening mammograms are usually fully covered by insurance.

Screening mammogram

A diagnostic mammogram is done after an abnormal screening mammogram or if there are signs such as a lump or nipple discharge. A mammogram should always be done before surgery for breast cancer patients. They are usually covered by your insurance after you meet your deductible.

A 3-dimensional/3-D mammogram (digital tomosynthesis) takes a series of X-ray "slices" that can be viewed alone or one after another as a kind of movie. 3-D mammograms are more sensitive, and the images can provide more information.

A digital mammogram uses computerized sensors instead of X-ray film to take the image.