Mammography is a safe and effective low-dose X-ray of the breast used to help diagnose breast diseases and abnormalities. The major advantage of mammography is it can identify problems at a very early and treatable stage. Breast cancer, for example, can be discovered as early as two years before it is evident during a physical examination.
All Inova locations offer 3D mammograms, also known as tomosynthesis.
- Screening mammograms are used to detect breast cancer in women who have no apparent symptoms.
- Diagnostic mammograms are used after suspicious results on a screening mammogram or after some signs of possible breast cancer, such as a lump.
A mammogram alone cannot prove that an abnormal area is cancer but, they help physicians decide whether more testing is needed.