Definition of Diagnostic mammogram

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Diagnostic mammogram: An X-ray of the breast done to evaluate:

  • Abnormalities seen or suspected on a prior screening mammogram;
  • Subjective or objectives abnormalities in the breast such as a lump, pain, thickening, nipple discharge or a inexplicable change in breast size or shape;
  • Breasts for which it is difficult to obtain a clear X-ray by a screening mammogram because of special circumstances such as breast implants.

A diagnostic mammogram takes longer and involves correspondingly more radiation exposure than a screening mammogram because it involves more X-rays.

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