Mammogram

Mammography; Breast cancer - mammography; Breast cancer - screening mammography; Breast lump - mammogram; Breast tomosynthesis

A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breasts. It is used to find breast tumors and cancer.

Female Breast

The female breast is either of two mammary glands (organs of milk secretion) on the chest.

Breast lumps

Less than one-fourth of all breast lumps are found to be cancerous, but benign breast disease can be difficult to distinguish from cancer. Consequently, all breast lumps should be checked by a health care professional.

Causes of breast lumps

Most breast lumps are benign (non-cancerous), as in fibroadenoma, a condition that mostly affects women under age 30. Fibrocystic breast changes occur in more than 60% of all women. Fibrocystic breast cysts change in size with the menstrual cycle, whereas a lump from fibroadenoma does not. While most breast lumps are benign, it is important to identify those that are not. See your health care provider if a lump is new, persistent, growing, hard, immobile, or causing skin deformities.

Mammary gland

The anatomy of the breast includes the lactiferous, or milk ducts, and the mammary lobules.

Abnormal discharge from the nipple

Abnormal nipple discharge may be described as any discharge not associated with lactation. The nature of the discharge may range in color, consistency and composition, and occur in one or both breasts.

Fibrocystic breast disease

Fibrocystic breast disease is a common and benign change within the breast characterized by a dense irregular and bumpy consistency in the breast tissue. Mammography or biopsy may be needed to rule out other disorders.

Mammogram

A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breasts. It is used to find tumors and to help tell the difference between noncancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) disease. One breast at a time is rested on a flat surface that contains the x-ray plate. A device called a compressor is pressed firmly against the breast to help flatten out the breast tissue. Each breast is compressed horizontally,then obliquely and an x-ray is taken of each position.

How the Test is Performed

How to Prepare for the Test

How the Test will Feel

Why the Test is Performed

Normal Results

What Abnormal Results Mean

Risks