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Doctor insights on: Mammogram Diagnostic

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What is the difference between a screening mammogram, a diagnostic mammogram, and an ultrasound?

What is the difference between a screening mammogram, a diagnostic mammogram, and an ultrasound?

A screening: mammogram is a study of both breasts that is performed on asymptomatic women to try and detect signs of breast cancer. A diagnostic mammogram consists of special views, and is usually targeted to a specific area of the breast, to further evaluate a potential abnormality seen on screening mammo or felt on clinical exam. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
660 Doctors shared insights

Mammogram (Definition)

A mammogram is the "gold standard" screening test for breast cancer. It's well established that yearly 'grams will DX cancers well before they are palpable, leading to earlier diagnoses and saved lives. All experts agree to begin yearly mammograms by age 50; many (including myself) believe the pro's outweigh the con's to begin at 40. Regrettably, less than half of all women ...Read more


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What is the difference between screening mammogram and diagnostic mammogram? Why does the diagnostic one have to be done with breast ultrasound?

What is the difference between screening mammogram and diagnostic mammogram? Why does the diagnostic one have to be done with breast ultrasound?

Purpose: The purpose of a screening mammogram is to identify breast cancer in women who have no signs of disease, while the purpose of a diagnostic mammogram is to obtain more detail on a known abnormality identified on prior physical exam or imaging study. A diagnostic mammogram need not always be done with an ultrasound. ...Read more

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How soon do you know what they see on a diagnostic mammogram?

How soon do you know what they see on a diagnostic mammogram?

Ask: When you make your appointment ask what the procedure is at the facility you are planning to use. Many will give you an initial impression before you leave. Most will send you a letter with the results and recommendations for future studies. If you are not satisfied with what you are told, look for another facility. ...Read more

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How long does it take to get results from a diagnostic mammogram?

How long does it take to get results from a diagnostic mammogram?

Varies by institutio: Different centers have different turn-around. Many centers for breast excellence have radiologists who immediately read your mammogram while you are still there. Some places call you next day. Yet others may take days to get final report and send you a letter in mail, sometimes up to a week later. Ask for specifics wherever you are actually having your mammogram done. ...Read more

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What does it mean when they call you back for another diagnostic mammogram?

What does it mean when they call you back for another diagnostic mammogram?

Additional mammo: It means there is a possible abnormality present, but additional mammographic views are necessary to determine whether there is in fact an abnormality, or to better characterize an abnormality. Many times the additional mammo views show that there is nothing to worry about. ...Read more

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What exactly is this verbiage from a diagnostic mammogram, SUPERIMPOSED FIBROGLANDULAR PARENCHYMA?

Fibroglandular: Parenchyma is normal breast tissue. Since a mammogram is a two dimensional representation of a three dimensional object, the occasional overlap of normal tissue 'superimposed' on normal tissue behind it, or in front of it, sometimes looks like an abnormality. Extra views are then necessary to spread out the tissue and prove that it is normal. Only normal tissue will spread out. Real masses persist ...Read more

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How does a diagnostic mammogram differ from a screening mammogram?

How does a diagnostic mammogram differ from a screening mammogram?

Screening mammo: Is 4 standard views in an asymptomatic woman, looking for signs of cancer anywhere in both breasts. Diagnostic mammogram is a variable number of specialized views to fully evaluate a particular area of the breast identified as potentially abnormal on screening mammo or physical exam. ...Read more

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What is the. Difference bet a diagnostic mammogram? And a screening mammogram? Thanks..

What is the. Difference bet a diagnostic mammogram? And a screening mammogram? Thanks..

Issue vs no issue: A screening mammogram is one done without there being any patient or doctor concerns about the breasts. It's done in asymptomatic women on a schedule according to guidelines. A diagnostic mammogram is done in response to a patient complaint or finding on the exam. ...Read more

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After a diagnostic mammogram & ultrasound, there is still concern from my dr. I have a diagnostic ultrasound tomorrow. Is this normal?

If you already: Had a diagnostic mammo/ultrasound workup, it should have been evaluated by the radiologist while you were there, so it is somewhat unusual to be called back to repeat the ultrasound. However. It occasionally happens. ...Read more

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Bi Rads 3 after diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. Follow up in 6 months. Should I have 2nd opinion to make sure Bi Rads 3 is accurate.

Bi Rads 3 after diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. Follow up in 6 months. Should I have 2nd opinion to make sure Bi Rads 3 is accurate.

If you: Have questions or doubts about the report, try discussing it with your doctor and/or the interpreting radiologist. If you are not satisfied, you can always seek a second opinion. ...Read more

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Scheduled for diagnostic mammogram of one of my breasts, and a possible sonogram, should I be worried?

Scheduled for diagnostic mammogram of one of my breasts, and a possible sonogram, should I be worried?

It's normal to worry: Many women get called back after their screening mammogram. The diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound is only a way to evaluate more closely and area of possible concern that the radiologist might have. For some women it might end here, for others a biopsy might be recommended. Still it means nothing until the biopsy result is back. Based on that further recommendations will follow. ...Read more

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What does it mean if a new focal asymmetry on screening mammogram "flattened into benign pattern" on diagnostic mammogram? I have very dense breasts.

What does it mean if a new focal asymmetry on screening mammogram "flattened into benign pattern" on diagnostic mammogram? I have very dense breasts.

No abnormality: It generally means that the original appearance on the screening mammogram was due to a coincidental overlapping of normal breast structures, causing the false appearance of a possible abnormality. On the diagnostic images, the overlapping structures spread out and look normal again, proving that the original "abnormality" was not real. A true mass would not flatten or spread out on the diag mammo ...Read more

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I go soon for an diagnostic mammogram. Will I need a breast ultrasound?

I go soon for an diagnostic mammogram. Will I need a breast ultrasound?

Possibly....: If you had the diagnostic mammogram for something you can feel, like a lump, then you will almost certainly need an ultrasound. If you were called back for calcifcations, you most likely will not need an ultrasound. If a mass was seen on the mammogram, that you cannot feel, you will also need an ultrasound. ...Read more

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I have two lumps on my right breast. Went to doctor and will have a diagnostic mammogram done but in 5 weeks?

I have two lumps on my right breast. Went to doctor and will have a diagnostic mammogram done but in 5 weeks?

Sounds too long: If you have new breast masses, you should have the mammogram +/- breast ultrasounds asap. Ask your physician to call the mammogram center to see if s/he can get you in sooner. Also, ask the mammography unit to put you on their wait lists in case any one cancels. I would also recommend seeing a breast surgeon for evaluation as well. ...Read more

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I had a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound today. They found a hard mass behind my nipple. I was referred to the surgeon. Is it Cancer?

I had a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound today. They found a hard mass behind my nipple. I was referred to the surgeon. Is it Cancer?

Biopsy: You have been referred to the surgeon most likely to organize a biopsy. A tissue sample can be taken from the mass to determine if it is benign or malignant. Most breast masses are benign but it is very important to have this evaluated. ...Read more

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My left breast hurts. Blood work, 2 ultrasound and diagnostic mammogram all normal. Specialist says fibrocystic but it hurts all month Idk what 2 do.?

Multiple causes: Fibrocystic changes are very common in women, and sometimes they can involve only one breast, or a part of one breast. Most doctors recommend a trial of avoiding caffeine first, which helps a large percentage of women. An infection can also cause this, and requires different treatment. Sometimes an operation is necessary. ...Read more

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Are mammograms painful?

Are mammograms painful?

Yes but not for long: A woman's breast is squeezed as flat as possible for a couple seconds while the x ray is taken. It hurts, but it doesn't last long. Most women have no problem tolerating it. It shouldn't keep you from having it done if your doctor recommends it. ...Read more

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