What You Need to Know About Digital Mammography

What You Need to Know About Digital Mammography

A screening mammogram creates a
digital image. The image is created electronically and read on a computer screen. A
digital mammogram works better at finding breast cancer than a traditional mammogram done
with X-ray film in pre- and perimenopausal woman. Women in this age group tend to have
denser breast tissue. This tissue is better assessed with a digital method. The traditional
mammogram is called analog mammography. No matter the type of equipment used, don’t skip
your mammogram because a digital mammogram is not available. 

Digital technology offers several
potential advantages over the current film method for mammography. Unlike film images,
digital images:

  • Can be stored and transferred
    electronically

  • Are less likely to get lost

  • Can be manipulated to correct
    for underexposure or overexposure. This may prevent the need for another
    mammogram.

  • Allow radiologists to use
    software to help interpret or read them

  • Have a large dynamic range that
    allows examination of all areas of the breast, despite varying densities

  • Have a lower average radiation dose

Many of the mammography machines in use today are digital units. The process of getting a digital mammogram is just like a regular mammogram. In fact, the only way you may know what type you get is to ask the technologist working with you.