Why are mammograms conducted?
A screening mammogram is when your doctor orders a mammogram as a routine test in order to detect cancer or monitor any changes in the breast. It is typically used for women who don't have any symptoms of cancer, the idea is to identify the cancer before the noticeable clinical signs.
If you have any sign of breast cancer, such as an abnormal lump felt in the breast, your doctor will order a diagnostic mammogram. The idea here is to investigate any abnormalities found in the screening mammogram as well as other issues such as nipple thickening, breast changes, breast pain, changes in skin appearance, nipple discharge and the development of a new lump in the breast.
Women who have breast implants will also have to have a diagnostic mammogram in order to properly view the breast. Diagnostic mammograms normally require more X-rays so as to view multiple positions of the breast. Your radiologist may also focus on certain concerning areas.