What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is an X-ray exam of the breast that is used to detect and evaluate breast changes. There are two types of mammograms: screening and diagnostic. A screening mammogram is an annual preventative screening for women age 40 and older who have not experienced any abnormal breast symptoms. A diagnostic mammogram is typically for women who display symptoms that need to be investigated, such as a breast lump or nipple discharge. They may also be performed as a follow-up to a screening mammogram to further investigate a particular area of the breast.
The American College of Radiology recommends that women age 40 and older should get a yearly screening mammogram for as long as a woman is in good health. You may need to have a diagnostic mammogram before age 40 if you begin to develop symptoms, such as a lump, discharge or other abnormalities; or you have a family history of breast issues.