7 doctors weighed in:

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

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Gabor
Diagnostic Radiology
2 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Michael Gabor
Dr. Michael Gabor
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1 comment
Dr. Michael Gabor
Ultrasound uses sound waves rather than xrays to generate an image. Usually it is used to further evaluate a mammographic or physical finding, or as the breast imaging modality of first choice in younger women. Its role as a screening tool(particularly in dense breasts) is evolving.
Dr. Stephen Pappachen
Obstetrics & Gynecology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Different views.

A screening mammogram, typically, takes an x-ray of the breast from two views (a-p: anterior-posterior/front to back and cc (cranio-caudal: from top to bottom).
Diagnostic mammograms use multiple views. Ultrasound, of course, uses a whole different technology (sound waves) focusing on the detection of solid and/or well defined structures (e.g. Cysts, etc..).

In brief: Different views.

A screening mammogram, typically, takes an x-ray of the breast from two views (a-p: anterior-posterior/front to back and cc (cranio-caudal: from top to bottom).
Diagnostic mammograms use multiple views. Ultrasound, of course, uses a whole different technology (sound waves) focusing on the detection of solid and/or well defined structures (e.g. Cysts, etc..).
Dr. Stephen Pappachen
Dr. Stephen Pappachen
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1 comment
Dr. Darryl Blinski
Great response Dr Pappachen....
Dr. Lynne clark
Breast Surgery

In brief: Radiologist presence

A routine mammogram is done and reviewed later by a radiologist.
A diagnostic mammogram is indicated when there is a problem and is read immediately by a radiologist to determine if further work up is indicated. Ultrasound is another modality which does not replace mammogram but helps us determine if there is a mass in the breasts and if it is cystic or solid suspicious or benign ( not cancer).

In brief: Radiologist presence

A routine mammogram is done and reviewed later by a radiologist.
A diagnostic mammogram is indicated when there is a problem and is read immediately by a radiologist to determine if further work up is indicated. Ultrasound is another modality which does not replace mammogram but helps us determine if there is a mass in the breasts and if it is cystic or solid suspicious or benign ( not cancer).
Dr. Lynne clark
Dr. Lynne clark
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