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Doctor insights on: What Is The Difference Between A Diagnostic And Screening Mammogram

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What is the difference between a diagnostic vs screening mammogram?

What is the difference between a diagnostic vs screening mammogram?

Symptoms: A screening mammography is done as a routine exam. There are no symptoms. No masses have been felt. The patient is being screened. A diagnostic mammo is done because there is some reason other than routine. A mass has been felt, there is a discharge from the nipple, etc. Additional views may be taken. Sometimes a needle aspiration will be done at the same time. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
639 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 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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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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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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What do they do if my screening mammogram shows a problem?

What do they do if my screening mammogram shows a problem?

More tests: You can expect more mammogram images, possibly a breast ultrasound. A breast mri, other studies, and biopsy may also be required. ...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 if my screening mammogram shows a problem? Are there any problems with mammograms?

No perfect test: It is possible that what is picked-up on a mammogram is not cancer. Unfortunately, there is overlap between the benign and malignant. This is why additional tests (such as ultrasound) are necessary. ...Read more

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What are the dangers and limitations of mammograms and are there any alternative screening processes that you would recommend ?

See below: Mammograms have not been associated with dangers. In conjunction with self-examination and health care examination, this is the best screen for breast cancer. Not all cancers are found on mammogram, and, if a lump is present and not seen on mammogram, additional evaluation will be necessary. ...Read more

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Are there alternatives to mammogram for breast cancer screening?

Are there alternatives to mammogram for breast cancer screening?

None as good: Mammograms are the best test for detecting breast cancer. It is not clear that breast exams by a health care provider add benefit (tho they may), and breast self exams have not been shown to be beneficial. Certainly, if you notice a bump, a change in skin, a nipple discharge or any abnormality that you are concerned about, you should get it checked out. ...Read more

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Confused by all the changes in recommendations for screening for women. Whats the latest for mammograms?

Confused by all the changes in recommendations for screening for women. Whats the latest for mammograms?

No change: The United States preventitiv task force back tracked and did not essentially change the recommendations. Every 2 years from 40-50, yearly after age 50. ...Read more

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Dr. James Lin
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Screening (Definition)

Examples are: colonoscopy for colon polyp or cancer; mammograms for breast lesions or cancer; psa a blood test that could indicate enlargement of cancerous prostate tissue; blood sugar or hemoglobin a!c for diabetes. Many think that scanning the whole body will pick up a cancer--in all likelihood, it will not. There also is no good blood test, yet, ...Read more