A digital mammogram is a newer version of a routine mammogram. The only difference is that x-rays of each breast are obtained and viewed using computerized digital technology in the place of traditional film.
Digital mammography allows radiologists to electronically manipulate the digital images, potentially saving patients from undergoing additional views and therefore additional radiation; these views are sometimes necessary to make a diagnosis. The ability to manipulate the digital images has been shown to improve the sensitivity of mammography in women with dense breast tissue.
Unfortunately, no. Doctors have no single 100% effective method for detecting breast cancer. Many cancers are too small or soft to be felt, but can be seen on a mammogram. That's why screening mammograms are so important. However, not all cancers behave in the same way. Some types of cancer can be felt more easily than they can be seen in a mammogram.
Therefore, the best way to detect breast cancer is by combining breast self-examination, a clinical breast exam by your doctor, and the mammogram.
If you discover a breast lump, it is important to let the technologist know about it when you are having your mammogram if you haven't called prior to your mammogram to let our staff know. The radiologist (doctor) that will interpret your mammogram needs this information in order to decide if other tests need to be done with the mammogram such as images specific to the area of the lump or an ultrasound.
If you discover a breast lump, and a mammogram is performed and you receive normal results, this doesn't mean you or your doctor should ignore the breast lump. Let the staff at our facility know and additional testing will be performed such as additional images with mammography and or ultrasound. If you have a normal screening mammogram, and then develop a new lump, you should have it checked by your doctor. Mammograms do not detect ALL cancers. One out of every eight women develops breast cancer.